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X "^ C *^ > S-^vV ) 



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-V Pr^ndent of the College in New Jersey. 




And DOW: flfst published in a separate Volume, with 
unmerons verbal Emendations. 





• , -v. 

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HAP. I. Mr. Edwarda'9 Birth, Parentage, &g I 

HAP. II. Extracts from his Private Writings 8 

Iprt. 1. His RetohUians 9 

tct.2. Extracts Jram his Dia/y I7 

ect,3. Aeeoumt'of his Conversion, l^e.wntren by himself, 42 

^H AP. III. His general Deportment 78 

Th AP. IV. His Departure from Northampton Ill 

) HAP. T. From his Mission to the Indians until his 

I Death , , , 1^ 

jhet. 1. His, Mission to the Indians at Stoehhridge .... ibid, 
pert. 2. His Election to the Fresidency of New Jersey 

College i I73 

[/HAP. YI. His Publications, Mannscripts, &c 101 


I. Mrs. Edwards's Life and Character 206 

''I. Abrief Account of Mrs. Burr «...• ^17 

III. The Life and Character of Dr. Edwards .228 

U?. EXCHANGi: 3 AUO«liOi 

LIS, cc*<a* . 

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In the esteem of all the judicious who 
were well acquainted with him, Presi- 
dent Edwards* was one of the greatest^ 
best, and most useful men of this age. By 
his conversation, preaching, and writings, 
he discovered a remarkable strength of 
miiid, clearness of thought, and depth of 

No one, perhaps, in our day, has been 
more universally esteemed as an eminently 

* There was another valuable writer of the name of 
Jonathan Edwards, Principal of Jesus College, Cambridge, 
whopablished an exceUent book, entitled, *' A Preserva- 
tive against Socinianism," in four Parts, 4to. ; the first of 
which was printed in iOOa, and the faiat in 17Q3.---By wa^^ 
of distinction, therefore, as well as of deserved respfC 
the subject of these Memoirs is called " President 

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good num. His love to God and the ex- 
cellent of the earth, and his benevolence to 
man ; his zeal for God and his cause ; his 
uprightness, humility, self-denial, and wean- 
edness from the world; his close walk 
with God; his conscientious, constant, aad 
universal obedience, in all holy ways of 
living — have been as conspicuous as the 
unconunon strength of his understanding. 

And that this distinguished light has 
not shone in vain, we have the most ample 
testimony. God, the giver of his talents, 
led him into a way of improving them, 
both by preaching and writing, which has 
proved the means of converting many from 
the error of their ways, and of greatly pro- 
moling the interest of real Christianity, 
both in America and in Europe.. And 
there is reason to hope, that though dead, j 
he will yet speak for ages to come, to the 
great advantage of the church (^ Cbrk^t, i 

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and the immortal welfare of many souls^t- 
aad that his publications will pro'ducje ^ 
yet greater harvest of happiness to mail 
and' glory to God in the day of the Lond. 

The design of the following Mesn&irs 
is not mwely to publish tliese things, in 
(Nrder to tell the world how eminmitly 
great, wise, holy, and us^ul a person Pre- 
sident Edwards was ; but rather to give 
&e needful information as to what way, 
and by the use of what means, he attained 
fa such an uncommon degree of knowledge, 
holmess, and useftilness, that others may 
thereby be directed and excited to attempt 

the sanHe. 


'She reader, therefore, is niot to expect a 
qiere encomium on the dead, but a plain 
and faithful narrative of leading facts; 
together with some internal exercises, ex- 
pressed in Mr, Edwards's own words. JLet 
no one r^ard the following composure so 

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much an act of friendship for flie dead^ as 
of kiiidnesd to the living; it being only an 
attempt to render a life that has-been 
greatly aseful, yet more so. And let the 
reader keep in memory, that if he is not 
made wiser and better, gains no skill or 
disposition to live a holy and useful life, he 
fails entirely in what was prineipaily de- 
signed, by these Memoirs. 

In this world, so full of darkness aiul 
dciosioB, it is of great imporibmce that all 
should be able to distinguish betweai true 
ri^^ion and that which is false. Towards 
this, no Qxke perhaps has taken moire paias; 
or laboured more successfully, thun be 
whose life 18 set before the reader. And it 
is presumed that his reli^as exercises^ 
lesolutiQiis, and conduct^ here exhibited* 
wiH sarve welt to iUusteate, and in aa 
commim d^ree to. exemplify Im importwt 
writmgs aoL that sidaject Here pare and 

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widefiled religion, in distinction from all 
[eounterfeits^ exhibits a picture well caku- 
ihted to instruct and console those who» 
; ki thcao* rdi^ous sentiments and exercises, 
are built on the foundation of the apostles 
: and prophets, and of which Jesus Christ is 
the chief comer stone. Their hearts and 
practices will, in some d^^ee, answer to 
lit, as in a mirror face answers to fnce.. 
And here, they who have hitherto, unhap- 
pily, been in darkness and delusion, as to 
this infinitely important affair, may be in- 
structed and convinced. 

This is a point concerning which, above 
most others, the Protestant world appears to 
be much in the dark, Mr. Edwards was wont, 
frequentiy, to observe this in conversation^ 
and the longer he lived, the more was he 
convinced of it. If therefore the following 
account is adapted to answer this purpose, 
andmay be considered as a seasonable word, 

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XU PRflFACfe. 

saying, " This is the way, walk ye in it/' it 
will not only be a relief under so gre^.t a 
calamity to the christian world, the early 
removal of so bright a luminary, but alSft 
prove a great blessing to many, and pro- 
mote an end highly important; an eiiif 
worthy the attention and pursuit of all, and 
which engaged the warm and steady zeal 
of the subject of these Memoirs to the last. 

In this view> especially, is the foHowing 
life offered to the public, with an earnest 
desire that every reader may. faithfully 
improve it for me" purpose of advancing 
und^Jiledt religion in himself and others, 
while he candidly overlooks any defects 
which he may observe to be chargeable on 
the compiler. 

Jff/gws^ 20, 1764, 

%* The notes sig^ned W. and the Appendix No. III. m ere 
added by the Rev. Dr. Williams and the Rev. E. Parsons, 
the editors^ of President Edi^ards's Worksw 

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itfr. Edwards's Birth and Pareniagt, Education and 
Entrance on t/ie Ministry. 

pEEsiDEsrr Ebwarps was one of those 
ineiik of whom it is not easy to speak with 
justice, without seeming, at least, to border 
m the marvellous, and to incur the guilt of 
adulation. The christian biographer labour^ 
under a difficulty, in describing the cha*- 
racters of extraordinary men, whiclf the 
writers of other lives are but too generally 
allowed to forget; for he is bound so to 
represent actions and motives, as to remind 
his readers, that die uncommon excellencies 
of a character 9iow entirely from the bounty 
of heaven, for tl>e wisest and best purposes^ 
and are not the result of natural vigour and 
acumen^. .Otherwise^ instead of placing 

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these excellencies in a view advantageous 
for imitati(^% ^ or. jdescribipg a character | 
attainable, as to its most valuable traits^v 
only by gracious aids, there would be dan^ 
ger of setting up an idol; niore precious 
indeed than gold, but still an idol, whereby 
the mind would hie led astray from the one 
great object of the christian life, Jesus 
Christ, whose fulncss^lleth all in all. While 
we have a just view of him, it is a privilege 
to hear of his wonderful works in and by 
his honoured servants ; and to be enabled 
to imitate them is a ^eat augmontatioii of 
the privilege. If their graces, exemplified 
in a variety of circumstances, in a manner 
force us to a throne of grace, and thereby 
prove the means of quickening ours; then 
do we make a right use of their history, 
s^nd follow them who through faith and 
patience inherit the promises. 

Jonathan Edwards was born,, on the 5th 
of Octobef, 1703, at Windsor, in the Pro- 
rince of Connecticut, North America. His 
father, the Rev. Timothy Edwards, was 
minister of that place almost sixty years^ 
and resided there from Nov. 1694, till 

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January, 1758, when he died, in the eighty- 
ninth year of his age ; not two months he^ 
fore this his only son Jonathan. He was 
universal iy beloved, and esteemed as an 
upright^ pious, exemplary man; a faithful 
and very useful minister of the gospel. A few 
more particulars of this excellent man will 
be acceptable. He»was bom at Hartford^ 
in Connecticut, M^y 14th, 1669; and re* 
ceived the honours of the college at Cam- 
bridge, in New England, by having the 
degrees of Bachelor and Master of Arts 
given him. the same day, July 4th, 1694^ 
one in the forenoon, and the other in the 
afternoon. On November 6th, 1694, he 
married Esther, daughter of the Rev. and 
celebrated Solomon Stoddard, of North- 
ampton, in the twenty-third year of her age. 
They lived together in th« married state 
above sixty-three years. Mrs. Edwards, 
the President's mother, was born June 
2(1, 1672, and lived to about ninety years 
of age, (dying some years after her son,) 
a remarkable instance of the small decay or 
mental powers. This venerable couple had 
eleven children; one son, the subject of these 

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4 THE Lilts ap ^ 

Metooir^ tod tea daughtei-s, four' of whoih 
were older^ and i»x younger than liimsd£.^'. 

.. ./ . 1 . . r • • . : 

. * Weshallhereral^joinaBketchof Mr.£dvrards'siiior9 
remote ancestors, as it may gratify sonre readers. Jona- 
^an Edirards's grandfather was Richard Bdwards, who 
Vlarried Elisabeth Tttttle, daughter of William Tottl^ of 
Kew Havexi, jn Connecticut, and Elizabeth his wiCe» who 
came from Northamptonshire, in Old England.^ By thif 
Connection he had seven chihlren, of whom the eldest waft 
Timothy, the Presidenfs father. Itis second marriage waa 
to Mrs. Talcot, sister to Governor Talcot, by whom he had 
six children.--The father of Richard, was William Edwards, 
Jonathan's great-grandfather, who came from England 
young and unmarried. . The person he married, wtiosf 
christian name was Agnes, and who l^ul left England, for 
America, had two brothers in England, one of them mayor 
of Exeter, and the other of Barnstaple.— The father of 
William, Richard Edwards, the President's great-great- 
grandlatber, was minister of the gospel in London, in the 
reign of Queen Elizabeth ; and his wife, Ann Edwards, was 
employed in making some part of the royal attire. After 
the death of Mr. Edwards,'she married Miv Jamet Coie, 
wh^o with ber aon William accompanied her tQ Am^riea> 
and all died at Hartford, in Connecticut. 

Pk-esident Edwards's grandfather, on the. mother's «ide, 
1k9 Rev. Solomon Stoddard, of Northampton, New l&ng- 
laad, married Mrs. Mather, the relict of the Rev., Mr. 
Mather, his predecessor, who was the first minister at 
Korthaibpton. Her maiden name was Esther Warham, 
daughter and youngest chHd of the ReV« iobu Warham, 
Ipinlsler at Windsor, in Connecticut, and who, before he 
lefit England, had been minister at Exeter, This lady had 
three children by Mr. Mather; Eanice, Wtfham, asid 

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1Mb*. Edwmrds enteced Yale College wh^n 
albomt twelve years of age; and received 

Eliakim; and twelve children by Mr. Stoddard, sht' sons 
kJHA six danghters* Three of the soiis died ia infancy, %aA 
t^ree lived ta hdidt years, vi& Anthony, John* and Israel f 
the last of whom died a prisoner in France. Anthony was 
innister of the gospel at Woodbury, in Connecticnt ; he was 
iatlie ministry abont sixty years, and diod^ept 0> 17001, ill 
^e^l^ty-secQUd year of his age. John lived at Northamp« 
ton, and often, especially in his younger years, served th« 
town as their representative, at the great and general court 
It Boston ; and was, long, hoad.of ibe county of Hampshirri 
IS chief colonel, and chief jud^c of. the cqnrt of common, 
fleas. He likewise served in the province of Massachqsets 
%ay, as one of his Majesty's council. He distingqisbed 
kimself as an id>£9 politidan, a wise eouns^Upr, an uprigl^ 
ind skilfol jndge ; possessed in an eminent de^gree the spirit 
of government, and ever proved a great and steady friend 
fo the interest of religion. He was a warm friend and ad^* ^ 
iiiret of our Mr. Edwards, and, to the time of his deati^ 
grf atlj strengthened his bands in the work of the midistry, 
A more particular account of the life and character of thia 
My great man, may be seen in the sermon which Mr. 
Bdwards preached and ptoblidlect, on the occaaon of hi< 
4eath.-^The father of Mr. Solomon Stoddard, and Mr» 
Edwards's great-grandfather, on the mother's side, was 
Anthony Stoddard, esq. of Boston, ^ zealous congrega^ 
tional man. He had five wives^ the first of whom was Mai^ 
ponrning, Msteif to $ir George Downing, whose other sister- 
narried Governor Bradstreet. Solomon was the first child 
of this first marriage.-^I^rom these particulars it appears, 
^ Mr. Edwards's anddstors were firom the west of £ng» 
^d, who, upon theur emigration, allied themselves ta 
some of the most respectable families in America, 

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t3ie degree of Bachelor of Arts in Sept. 
J720, a little before he tras seventeen. 
While at^college, his character was marked 
with^se^Smety and improvement in learning. 
In the second year of his abode there, he 
read Locke on the Human Understanding 
with much deligl^t His uncommon genius^ 
by which he was naturally formed for close 
thought and deep penetration, now began 
to discover and exert itself. From his own 
account, he was inexpressibly entertained 
and pleased with that book, when he read it 
at college ; more so than the most avaricious 
miser, when accumulating stores of silver 
and gold from some newly-discovered trea- 
sure. Though he made good proficiency in 
all the arts and sciences, and had an un- 
common taste for natural philosophy ,(which 
he cultivated to the end of his life,) yet 
moral philosophy, including divinity, was 
his favourite subject, in which he soon 
made great progress. 

He lived at college nearly two yeare after 
he took his first degree, preparing for tjie; 
work of the ministry; after which, .having 
passed the usual trials, he was licensed to 

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{>reach the gospel as a candidate. In con? 
sequence of an application from a number 
of tninisters in New England, who. were 
intrusted to act in behalf of the English 
Presbyterians in New York, he went to 
that city at the beginning of August, 1722, 
and preached there with great acceptance 
about eight, months. But on account of the 
smallness of the society,, and some speciaji 
difficulties that attended jdt,. he did npt 
think there was jsl rational prospect of 
answering the good end proposed, by his 
settling there as their minister. He therer 
fore left ^em the next spring, and retired 
to his. Cither's house, where he spent the 
summer in close study. He was earnestly 
solicited by the people to return again to 
New York ; but his former views were not 
altered, and therefore, however disposed to 
gratify them, he could not comply witTi 
their wishes. 

In Sept. 1723, he received his degree of 
Master of Arts. About this time several 
congregations invited him tp become their 
minister; but being chosen tutor of Yale 
College, he decided to continue in that 

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8 THE LIFE or 

retirement, where he attended the bushfesS 
of tuition above two years. During his dtay 
there, be was applied to by the people at 
Northampton, who had some powerful 
motives to offer, in favour of his exercising 
his ministry among them; and je^pecia}!}^ 
that his grandfather Stoddard, by reason of 
his great age, stood in need of aasistancek 
He therefore resigned his tutorship in 
Sept 1726, and accepted their invitation, 
and was ordained as colleague with hiil 
grandfather, Feb. 15, 1727, in the twenty- 
fourth jear of his age, and continued ^t 
Kortbampton twenty-three year& and foiit 


Xatfuchfrmn hUPri'&tie ffrkn^^^ 

Between the time of his going to New 
York and his settlement at Northampton, 
Mr. Edwards formed a number of Resolu- 
tions, which are still preserved. The par- 
ticular time, and special occasion of making 
many of these Resolutions, he has n6ted m 

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a DJHry. which be then k^pt; where we 
also find many other observations and rule$ 
relative to his own exercises and conduct. 
As* these private writings may be justly 
considered the basis of his conduct, or the 
j^l^n according to which his whole life was 
governed, it may be> proper here to give the 
reader some idea of them by the following 


* Mis Resolutiom* 

Mr, Edwards was too well acquainted 
with human weakness and frailty, where 
the intention is most sincere, to enter on 
any resolutions rashly* He therefore looked 
to God for aid, who alone can a0brd sue* 
cess in the nse of any means. This he 
placed at the head of all his other important 
rules, — that his dependence was on grace,— 
while he frequently recurred to a serious 
perusal of them.! — " Being sensible that I 
am unable to do any thing without God's 
help, I do humbly intreathim by his grace 
to enable ine to keep these resolutions^ so 




far as they are agreeable to bis will, for 
Christ^ sake/' He then adds : 


1. Resolved, 'that I will do whatsoever 
I think to be most to God's glory and my 
own good, profit, and pleasure, on the 
VHOLE ; without any consideration of the 
time, whether now, o^ never so many 
myriads of ages hence ;— to do whatever I 
think to be my duty^ and most for the good 
and advantage of mankind in general, — 

• The Reso]ations, as cootained in the original manu- 
script, were seventy in number; a part only are here tran- 
scribed, as a specimen of the whole. The figures affixed to 
them are those by which they were numbered in tiiat 
manuscript; and they are here retained for the sake of th« 
references made to some of them in the Diary, as the. 
reader will find in the sobseqaent part of these Memoirs.. 
It may be proper to add, that we should regard the spirii 
of these Resolutions, and the foUowiog extracts from the 
Diary, without a minute attention to the critical nicety of 
his language.. In fact, as these extracts were penned in a 
Tery early period of life, his style was not formed ;. and his 
phief concern was to deal plainly with himself, in the pre* 
senee of God, and to record for his own private impection 
what he thought might be of most use to liim in fo* 

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whatever difficulties I meet with, how many 
and how great soever. 

8. Resolved^ to be continually eqdea* 
vouring to find some new contrivance tq 
promote the fore-mentioned things. 

4*. Resolved, never to do, be, or suffer 
any thing, in soul or body, less or more, 
but what tends- to the glory of God. 

5. Re§olved^ never to lose one moment 
of time^ but improve it in the most profit^ 
able way I possibly can. 

6. Resolved, to live with all my mighty 
while I do live.* 

7. Resolved, never to do any thing, which 
I should be afraid to do if it were the last 
hour of my life. 

p. Resolved, to think much, on all occa- 
sions, of my own dying, and of the common 
circumstances, which attend death. 

* This is the full and exact import of the Latin motto, 
*< l>iiiii vwimut, vwamuti^ which was the motto of Dr. Dod* 
dridge's family arms, and which he paraphrased with rfK> 
much beauty. 

** Live, while yon live, the «ptcttr« would lay, 
*' And seize the pleasares of the present day. 
** live, while you live, the sacred preocAcr cries, 
*' And give to God each moment as it flies. 
'* liord, in my views let both onited be i 
« «*Il|Teisjp2saiifre,wbenIllTe<to«A<s.'*^W. 

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'II. Resolvedi when I think 6£ any theo^ 
rem in- divinity to be solved, immediate^, 
to do what I can towards solving it, if tir- 
eum^tances dp not hinder. 

13. Res0lvcdy to be endeavouring to fin4 
but fit objects of charity and liberality. 

14. Resolved^ never to do any thing out 
of revenge. ^ l 

15. Resolved, ' never to suiFer the least 
motions of anger to irrational beings. 

17. Resolved, that I will live so as I 
shall wish I had done when I come to die. 

18.- Resolved, to live so ^t all times, as I 
think is best in my devout frames, and 
when I have clearest notions of the gospel 
and another world. 

20. Resolved, to maintain the strictest 
temperance in eating and drinking, 

21. Resolved, never to do any things 
which if I should see in another, I should 
count a jus,t occasion to despise him for, or 
to think any .way the mpre meanly of 

24. Resolved, whenever I do any evil 

' action^ tto trace it back, till I come to' the 

original cause,; and then both carefully 

tndeavour ta da SQ uo morC; jsuxd to fight 

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Wid pny with all i^y migbt £[^iiist thq 
originij, of it 

38. Resolved, to study the scriptures so 
steadily, coustantly, and frequently, as that 
I may find, and plainly perceive ftiyself to 
grow in the knowledge of the same. 

SO. Resolved, to strive to my utmost 
every week to be brought higher in reli* 
giop, and to a higher exercise of graces 
thun I was the week before. 

32. Resolved, to be^ strictly and firmly 
feithful to my trust, that Pro v. xx, 6,. (A 
faithful man who canjmd?) may not bi| 
partly fulfilled in me. 

33. Resolved, always to do what I can' 
towards makingi maintaining, and establish- 
ing p^ice, wheia it can be done without aft 
over-balancing d^tjriment in other respects. , 

?4. Resolved, in narrations never to spealt 
any thing but the pure and simple verity. 
, 36. Resolved, never^to speak evil of any 
person, except some particgJar good call, 
for it. 

. 37. Resolved, to enquire every night, as 
1 1 am going to bed, wherein J have been 
i^^K%ei^t:, ;\yhat ^ig.I Mv<s Committed, jsnd 

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wherein I have denied myself; also at the 
end of every week, month, and year. 

S8. Resolved, never to speak any thing 
that is ridiculous, or matter of laughter on 
the Lord's day. 

39. Resolved, never to do any thing 
that I so much question the lawfulness of, 
as that I intend, at the same time, to con- 
sider and examine afterwards, whether it 
be lawful or na: except I as much question 
the lawfulness of the oipission. 
'41. Resolved, to ask myself at the end ' 
of every day, week, month, and year, 
wherein I could possibly in any respect 
have done better. 

42. Resolved, frequently to renew the 
dedication of myself to God, which was 
made at my baptism; which I solemnly 
renewed when I was received into the 
communion of the church; and which I . 
have solemnly ratified this twelfth, day of 
January, 1723. 

43. Resolved, never to act as if I were 
any way my own, but entirely and alto- 
gether God's. ' 

46. Resolved^ never to allow the least 

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frAsioekt cdwards. 15 • 

measure of any fretting uneasiness at my 
father or mother. Resolved, to suffer no 
effects of it, so much as in the least altera- 

I tion of speech, or motion of my eye: and 
to be especially careful of it, with respect 
t6 any of our family. 

! 47. Resolved, to endeavour to my utmost 
to deny whatever is not most agreeable to 
a good, and universally sweet and benevo- 
lent, quiet, peaceable, contented, easy, 
compassionate, generous, humble, meek, 
modest, submissive, obliging diligent and 
industrious, charitable, even, patient, mode- 
rate, forgiving, sincere temper ; and to do 
at all times what such a temper would lead 
me to. Examine strictly every w^ek, 
whether I have^done so. 

48. Resolved, ccmstantly, with the utmest 
niceness and diligence, and the strictest 
scrutiny, to be looking into the state of 
my soul, that I may know whether I have 
truly an interest in Christ or no; that when 
I come to die, I may not have any negli-* 
gence respecting this to- repent of. 

50. Resolved, I will act so as I think I 
shall judge would have been best^ and 

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most prudent, when I come into the future 
world. ! 1 

6S» I frequently hear persons in pldja^ 
Jay. how they WouJd live, if they wjerq fe» 
live their lives . oyer dgain : Resolved, that 
I will live just so as I can think I shall 
wish I had dope^ supposing I live to old 

^ S4f. Whenever I hear any thing spoke^ 
in c(mversation qf any person, if I think it 
would he praiseworthy in me, Resolved, tq 
Endeavour jto imitate it. 

^54 Resolved, to endeavour to my utmost 
to act as I pan think I should do, if I ha4 
already seen the happiness of heaven, ami 
^lell torments* 

36. Resolved, never to give over, nor in 
the least to slacken my fight with my cor- 
ruptions, however unsaccessful I may be^ 
. 57. Resolved, when I fear misfortunes 
and adversities, to examine whether I hav0 
done my duty, and resolve to do H; and let 
it be just as Providence orders it, I will, at 
far as I can, be .concerned about nothjing[ 
But' my duty and my sin. ; . :. 

: £2.; Refolved^ nsffSK imy tl]ipg but 

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dnty ; and then, according to Bpfe. vi. 6— 8, 
do it willingly and cheerfully as unto the 
Lord, and not to man ; knowing that what- 
erec good thing any iban doth, the same 
dull he receive of the Lord. 
. 65. Resolved, to ^xercise myself much 
in this all , my life l0lig, viz. with the 
greatest openness to declare my ways to 
Ood^ and lay open my soul to him : all my 
iins^ temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears^ 
hopes, desires, and every thing^ and everj 
circumstance ; according to Dr. Manton's 
iTth sermon on the 1 Jflth Psalm.- ^ 

67. Resolved, after affiictions, to Ith 
MfaKy What I am Idie better for tben^ 
what good I kme got, and what I smght 
have got 1^ thaoEu" t 

iSEGT. IE •^ ' » • * 

Extractsfroni his Diary. : 

Though Mr. Edwards wrote' his Diary 
for his own private use, exclusively, it i^ 
not apprehended that the fijllolvlng extracts 
are unfairly exposed to public view. That 
whicH i$ calculated to do good, and is per- 

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18 . iTHE I-1FE.0F *j 

fectly CQwbtent with an author's real 
repiUation^ n>ay be p^ublisfaed wkh hoiibitr, 
:whatever his design might be whilie writing 
Besides^ what Mr. Edwards wished to have 
effectually concealed from eveiy eye hut 
hi9 own, he wrote in a particular jhort 
hand. After having written {H-etty mucll 
in tibat character, he ; adds thia.ieinark m 
long haad^ ^^ Jlemember to act according 
to Prov. xii. fiS. A prudmt man emceaUetk 
^wmkdge'' , . \ ^ . 

Saturday, Dec. 22^ 1722>-T-^This day, 
revived by God'a Holy Spirit. Afiecteil 
with the se^e of the excellency of hpUness. 
Felt more exerene.of love to Christ thafa 
tisuaL Have also felt semnble repentance 
for sin, because it was committed against 
so merciful and good a God. This nighty 
made the 37th Ri^sofetion. 

Sabbath night, Dec. 23. — Made the 38th 

Monday, Dec. 24. — Higher thoughts than 
usual of the excellency of Jesus Christ and 
his kingdom. 

Wednesday, Jan. 2, 1723.— Dull. I find 
by experien9e, that let me make resolui- 

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tions, and do what I will, with never so 
many inventions', it is all nothing, and to no 
purpose at all, without the motions of the 
Spirit of God : for if the Spirit <rf God * 
should be as much withdrawn from mc 
Always, as for the week past, not with- 
]^tanding all I do, I should not grow ; but 
lAipuld languish, and miserably fade away, 
^ere is no dependence upon myself* It 
is to no purpose to resolve, except we de- 
pend on the grace of God ; for if it were 
not for his mere grace, one might be a very 
jgood nmn one day, and a very wicked one 
the next. 

Sabbath, Jan* 6, at night^Much con- 
cerned about the imprpvement of preck>us 
time. Intend to live in contitiual moTi\6c^ 
tion, without ceasing, as long as in thb 
world. • ' * 

Tuesday, Jan. 8, in the nKmiing.-^Higher 
thoughts than usual of the exoellency of 
Christ, and felt an unusual repentance for 
sin therefrom. 

Wednesday, Jan. 9, at night— Decayed* 
I am sometimes apt to think, I have a great 
deal mwe of hohness than I feaUy have. I 

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find, now and then, that abominable 1eo^ 
ni{>liaa wbich is directly contrary to what 
I read respecting eminent christians. How 
deeiitlnl is my heart! I take up a strong 
resoiotion, but how soon does it weaken ! 

Thursday, JanaO^about noon. — Reviving* 
?Tis a great dishonour to Christy in whom I 
hope I have 9n interest, to be uneasy at my 
worldly state and condition : — When I $$e 
tte prosperity of others, and that all thing! 
go easy with (beita ; when the world if 
smooth, to them, and they are happy ia 
manjr respecta^ and. very prosperous, or are 
advanced to much honour. Sec. to envy 
^them,; or bfe the least uneasy at it ; or even 
to wish for the aame prosperity, aiid that it 
would 'ever be so with me. Wherefore 
eonchided, always to rejoice m every one's 
prosperity, and to expect for myself no 
happiness of that nafiure as long as I live; 
but reckon upon afSictions, and betake my* 
self entirely to another happiness* 

I think I find myself much more sprightly 
and healthy, both in. body and mind, for 
my self-denial in eating, drinking, and 
ileepiog. I think it would be advantageous 

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every morning to consider tny ixisiness and 
temptations; and what \^nt I ahall be ex« 
Jiofted to that day : and . to siake a reaolu*- 
tiob how to improve the day> and to avcnd 
tiiose sina^ And so at tibe beginning of 
every week, month, aad year. — I , never 
knew before what was meant by not sejtting 
our beaf ts npoa these things. It ia not te 
care about them, depend upon them, afflict 
ourselves much witli fears of losing t|ien^ 
or please ours^ves with expectation of ob^ 
taming theiKH or hope of their contimanco^ 
At night made the 4 tat fiesoiittioa. 
* Saturikyt Jan« lie, in the moming.-^I 
fiave this day solemnly renewed my b^« 
tismal covenant and self^ledication, wfatcb 
I renewed when I was received into the 
commumon of the chttxch. I have been 
before Cod; ami have given no^self, all 
that I am and have to Odd, so trkat I am 
not in any respect my own: I c<m claim 
no right in niyself, no ing^t in this under*- 
standing, this, will, tliese affections that are 
in me; neither have I amy right to tfaif; 
body, or any, of its members: no right to 
this., tongue^ jthese haxsds>. Jior fcttt: •# 

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right to tliese^naesy these eyes, these ears, 
this smell or taste. I have given myself 
clear away, and have not retained any 
thing as my own. I have been to God 
this nM^ming, and told him that I gave 
myself tohoUy to .' him. I have given every 
power to him; so that for the future, I 
will challenge or claim no right in myself, 
in any respect. I have cJxpressly promised 
him, and do now promise Almighty. God, 
that by his grace I will not. I have this 
morning told him,, that I did take him 
for. my whole portion and felicity, looking 
on nothing else as any/ part of my happi- 
ness, nor aoting as if it were; and his law 
for the constant rule of my obedience : and 
would fight with all my might against the 
wwld, the flesh, and the devil, to the end 
of my life. And did believe in Jesus 
Christ, and receive him as a prince and a 
4saviour ; and would adhere to the faith 
. and obedience of the gospel, how hazar- 
dous and difficult soever the profession and 
practice of it iiiiay be. That I did receive 
the blessed Spirit as my teacher, sanctifier, 
loid only comforter; and cherish ^ all )m 

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mortions to enlighten, purify, coiifirm, ccdn- 
fofFtj and assist joie. This I have done. 
And I prayjGod, for the sake <yf Christ, to 
look upon it as a selimedication; and to 
rcfccive me how as entirely his own, and 
deal with me in all respects as such; whe- 
' tker he affiicts ine or prospers me, or w'hat- 
ever he pleases to do with me, who am hi*. 
Now, henceforth I am not to act in any 
respect as my own. I shall act as my own, 
if I ever make use of any of my powers to 
any thing that is not to the glory of God, 
or do ndt make the glorifying of him my 
whole and entire business ; if I murmur in , 
the least at afflictions ; if I grieve at the 
prosperity of others ; if I am any way un- 
charitable; if I am angry because of inju- 
ries ; if I^ revenge my own cause; if I do 
any thing purely to please myself, or avoid 
any thing for the sake of my ease, or omit 
any .thing because it is great self-*denial ; If 
I trust to myself; if I take any of the 
' praise of any good that I do, or rather God 
does by me ; or if I am any way f>r6ud. 
This day made the 4Qid and 4Sd Reso- 
lutions. V 

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Moadayi Jan* . 14& -^ Hi^. dedi(»tfotr : i 
made of ^lysplf to my God, on SatuvAaf 
lasty has b^^n exceeding }»e&l to nie. I 
t^ouglit I bad a vi^ve spiritual ioat^ iM 
tlie scripture 5vbil^ reading thQ ^h chapter 
to t^elUnnapB, th^n ever in imy iile hefocri 
r-Gre^ instances oif nkotti&os^tkoa are de^ 
uminds given to (iie body of wi, hard blom 
that make him staggipr aiul reel^. ive 
thereby get firm, ground andfootmg agai^it j 
^m,— While we live without great iofi 
stances of mortifiics^tioxi and self-demal^ the i 
old man keeps whereabouts he was; for be 
is sturdy and obstinate, and wiU not stk 
for sQ^all blows^ After the greatest mo^ 
.^ficaUons, I always find the. greatest cam^ 
Jmt. . Supposing there was n^ver but cm 
<9on|p|fte christiani in aU respects, -cf a 
l%ht statt^p^ havi<)g Christianity shining ia , 
iU trM lust^ei at a tiikie in the wovld; le^ 
solved, to i^ct just as I would do, if I sstrore 
wkh^ aU ipy might to be that one, thst 
^ould foe iq^ my tinie. 

Tuesday^ Jan» IS. — It seemed yesterday, 
.the day beforie, and Saturday, that I should 
always retain the same resolutions to the 

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same height, but alas, how soon do I de- 
cay! O, how weak, how infirm, how unable 
to do any thing am I! What a poor, in- 
consistent, misembfe wretch, without the 
assistance of Grod's Spiritl While I stand, 
I am ready to think I stand in my own 
strength; and arn ready to triumph over 
my enemies, as if it were I myself that 
caused them to flee : when, alas! I am. but 
a poor' infant, upheld by Jesus Christ ; who 
hoids me up, and gives me liberty to smile 
to see my enemies flee, when he drives 
tbem before me; and so I laugh, as though 
I myself did it, when it is only Jesus 
Christ leads me along, and fights himself 
against my enemies. And bow the Lord 
his ai little left me, how weak do I find 
myself! O, let it teach me to depend less 
an myself, to be more humble, and to give 
more of the praise of my ability to Jesus 
Christ. The heart of man is deceitful 
above all things, and desperately wicked, 
who cain know it? 

Saturday, Feb. 16,— I do certainly know 
fliat I love holiness, such as the gospel 
2€quires.^~At night I have been negU-' 

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gent for the month past in these three 
things: I have, not been watchful enough 
over my appetite in eating and drinking; 
in rising too late ; and in not applying my<» 
self enough to the duty of secret prayer* 

Sabbath-day^ Feb. 17, near sun-set. — Re- 
9€wedly promised, that I Mrill accept of 
God, for my whole portion; and that I 
will be contented, whatever else I am de- 
nied. I will not murmur nor be grreve4 
whatever prosperity, upon any account, I 
see others enjoy, and I am denied. 

Saturday, March 2. — O, how mucfaplea- 
santer is humility than pride ! O, that God 
would fill me with exceeding great ha- 
mility, and that he would evermore keep 
me from all pride ! The pleasures of ho- 
mility are really the most refined, inwaol 
and exquisite delights in the world. Honr 
hateful is a proud man! How hateful is 
a worm that lifts up itself with pitdel 
Wbat a foeJisfa, silly, miserable, blin4 de- 
ceived, poor worm am I, when pride 

* Wednesday, March 6, near sun-set.-— Felt 
ihe doctrines of election^ free-grace, and of 

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onr not being able to do ai^y tbing with- 
(Hit tbc grace of God; and* that holiness is 
entirely, tbroug;feout, the work of God*s 
^irit, with mc»re pleasure than before. 

Monday morning, April 1.^ — I think it 
bcrt not to allow myself to Ungh at the 
ikttltSi^ follies^ and infirmities of others. 

Saturday itight, April 6. — ^This week I 
found myself So far gone, that it seemed to 
mc, that I should never recover more. Let 
God of his mercy retUrti unto me, and no 
more leave me thus to sink and decay ! I 
know, O Lord,. that without thy help, I 
shall fall innumerable times, notwithstand- 
ing all my resolutions, how often so ever 

Saturday night, April 15. — I could pray 
more heartiiy this night, for the forgive- 
ness of my enemies, than ever before. 

Wednesday, May 1, forenoon. — Last 
^night I came home, after my melancholy 
parting from- New York, I have always, 
in every different state of life I have hitherto 
been in, thought the troubles and difficul- 
ties of that state to be greater than those 
t£ any other that I proposed to be in ; and 

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when I haye altered with assurance of 
mending myself^ I have still thought the 
same; yea, that the difficulties of that state 
are greater than those of that I left last. 
Lord, grant that from hence I may learn to 
withdraw my thoughts, affections, desires, 
and expectations, entirely from the worlds 
and may fix them upon the heavenly state ; 
where tiiere is fulness of joy; where reigns 
heavenly, sweet, calm, and delightful love, 
without alloy; where there are continually 
the dearest expressions of this love; where 
there is the enjoyment of the persons loved, 
without ever parting; where those persons, 
who appear so lovely in this world, will 
really be inexpressibly more lovely, and 
full of love to u». How sweetly will the 
mutual lovers join together to sing the 
praises of God and the Lamb ! How will 
it fiU us with joy to think, this enjoyment, ' 
these sweet exercises, will never come to 
an end, but will last to eternity. Remem- 
ber, after journies, removes, ovcrturnings, 
and alterations in the state of my life, to 
cpnsider, whether therein I have managed 
tlie best way possible,. respecting my soul;, 

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and before such alterations, if foreseen, to 
resolve how to act. 

Thursday, May 2. — I think it a very 
good way to examine dreams every morn- 
ing when I awake; what are the nature, * 
circumstances, principles, and ends of my 
imaginary actions and passions in them, to 
discern what are my chief inclinations, &c. 

Saturday night. May 4. — Although I 
have in some measure subdued a disposition 
to chide and fret, yet I find a certain in- 
clinatioQ which is not agreeable to chris» 
tian sweetness of temper and conversation: 
— ^ToQ dogmatical, loo much of egotism ; 
a disposition to be telling of my own dis- 
like and scorn; and freedom from those 
things that are innocent, or the common 
infirmities of men; and many such like 
things. O th^t God would help me to dis- 
cern all the flaws and defects of my temper 
and conversation, and help me in the diffi- 
cult work of amending them ; and that he , 
would fill me so fullof Christianity, that 
the foundation of all these disagreeable 
irregularities may be destroyed, and the 
contrary beauties may follow^ 

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Sabbath-day, May 5, in the morning. — 
This day made tlie 47th Resolution. 

Sabbath-day, May 12. — I think I feel 
glad from the hope that my eternity is to 
. be spent in spiritual and holy joys, arising 
from the manifestation of God's love, and 
the exercise of holiness and a burning love 
to him. 

Saturday night, May 18. — I now plainly 
perceive what great obligations I am under 
to love and honour my parents. I have 
great reason to believe, that their counsel 
and education have been of great use to 
me; notwithstanding, at the time, it seemed 
to do me so little good. I have good reason 
to hope that their prayers for me have 
been, in many things, very powerful and 
prevalent; that God has, in many things, 
taken me under his care and guidance, 
provision and direction, in answer tO their 
prayers. I was never made so sensible of 
it as now. 

Wednesday, May 24, in the morning. — ' 
Memorandum. To take special care of these 
following things: evil speaking, fretting, 
eating, drinkjug, and Bleeping, speaking 

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itttiple verity^ joining in prayer, slightness 
in secret prayer, listlessness and negligence, 
and thoughts that cherish sin. 

Saturday, May 25, in the morning. — As 
I was this morning reading the 17th Reso- 
lution, it was suggested to me, that if I was 
now to die, I should wish that I had prayed 
more that God would make me know my 
state, whether it be good or bad; and that 
I had taken more pains to see, and narrowly 
search into this matter. Wherefore, Mem. 
For the future, most nicely and diligently 
to look into our old Divines concerning^ 
. conversion. Mad^ the 48th Resolution. 

Friday, June 1, afternoon. — I have abtmd- 
ant cause, O merciful Father, to love thee 
ardently, and greatly to bless and praise 
thee, that thou hast heard me in my earnest 
request, and hast so answered my prayer 
for mercy to keep from decay and sinking. 
O, graciously, of thy mere goodness, con- 
tinue to pity my misery, by reason of my 
sinfulness. O, my dear Redeemer, I com- 
mit myself^ together with my prayer and 
thanksgiving, into thine hand. 

Monday, July !;— Again confirmed by 

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experience of the happy effects of strict 
temperance, with respect both, to body aiid 
mind. Resolved, for the future to observe 
rather more of .meekness, moderation, and 
temper in disputes. 

Thursday, July 18, near sun-set. — Re- 
solved to endeavour to make sure of that 
sign the appstle James gives of a perfect 
man, Jam. iii. 2. If any man offend not in 
wordy the same i§ a perfect man^ imd able 
also to bridle the whole body^ 

Monday, July 22. — I. see there is danger 
of my b^iQg drawn into transgression by 
a fear of seeming uncivil, -and of offending 
friends. Watch against it 

Tuesday, July 23» When I find those 

groanings which cwnot J>€ tittered, that 
the Apostle speaks of; ind those soul- 
breakings for the longing it hath, which 
the Psalmist speaks of, (Psal. cxix. 20.) let 
me humour and promote them to the ut- 
ipost of my power, and be not weary of 
earnestly endeavouring to vent my desires. 
— I desire to count it all joy when I have 
occasion of great self-denial, because then 
I have a glorious opportunity of giving 

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deadly wounds' to the body of sin, arid* 
greatly confirming and establishing the' 
new nature; to seek to mortify sin, and in-^ 
create in holiness; thesa are the best op-* 
portunities (according to January 14,) to 
improve afflictions of all kinds, as blessed 
opportunities of forcibly bearing on in my 
christian course, notwithstanding that which 
is so very apt to discourage me, to damp 
the vigour of my mind, and to make me 
lifeless; also, as opportunities of trusting 
and confiding m God, habitually, according 
to the 57th Resolution; and of rending my 
heart off from the world, and setting it 
upon heaven alone; to repent of, and be- 
wail my sin, and abhor myself; and as a 
blessed opportunity to exercise patience, 
to trust in God, and divert my mind from 
the affliction, by fixing myself in religious 
exercises. Also, let me comfort myself, 
that it is the very nature of afflictions to 
Baake the heart better; and if I am made 
better by them, what need I be concerned, 
however grievous they seem for the pre- 
Friday, July 36. — To be particularly 

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careful to keep up an inviolable trust and 
reliance, ease and entire rest in God, in all 
conditions, according tp the 57th Reso* 
lution; for this I have found to be wonder-^ 
&lly advantageous. 

Monday, July 29-— rWhen' I am con- 
cerned how I shall perform any thing to 
public acceptance, to be very careful that' 
I do what is duty and prudence in the 

Wednesday, July 31. — Never in the least 
to seek to hear sarcastical relations of 
other's faults. Never to give credit to any 
thing said against others, except there is 
very plain reason for it; nor to behave in 
any respect otherwise for it. 

Wednesday, August 7. — ^To esteem it an 
advantage that tlie duties of religion are 
difficult, and that many difficulties are 
sometimes to. be gone through in the way 
of duty. Religion is the sweeter, and what 
is gained by labour is abundantly more 
precious; as a-woman loves her child the 
better for having brought it forth with 
travail. And even as to Christ Jesus, him- 
4^1f in his mediatorial glory, (including his 

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vfctoi^ and triumph, and the kingdorii 
which be has obtainecj,) how much mori 
glorious, how much more excellent and 
precious, for his harhig wrought it out 
by such agonies^f 

Friday, Aug:ust 9- — One thing that may 
be a good help towards thinking profitably 
in time of vacation or leisure is, that when 
I light on a profitable thought, I can fix 
my mmd in ordec to follow it, as far as 
possible,, to advantage. 

Sabbath-day, after meeting, August 11.-^ 
Resolved alwaya to do that which I shall 
wish I had done, when I see others do it. 
As for instance, sometimes I argue with 
myself, that such an act of good nature, 
kindness, forbearance, or forgiveness. Sec. 
IB not my duty, because it will have such 
and such consequences; yet, when I see , 
others do it, then it appears amiable to me, 
and I wish I had done it; and I see that 
none of these feared inconveniences do 

Tuesday, August 13. — I find it would 
be very much to 'my advantage to be 
thorMighly acquamted with the scriptures. 

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36 THE LIl^E OP 

When I am reading doctrinal booses, or 
<)ooks of controversy, I can proceed with 
abundantly more confidence; can see upon 
what foundation I stand. 

Thursday, August 29.-r-The objection 
my corruptions m^ke against doing what- 
ever my hand finds to do with my izit^t 
hf tliat: it js a constant mortification* Let 
this objection by no means ever prevail. 

Monday, September 2. — ^There is much 
folly when I am quite sure I am in the 
right, and others are positive in contra- 
dicting me, in 'entering into a vehement 
or long <lebate upon it. 
/ Monday, September 23. — I observe that 
old men seldom have any advantage of , 
new discoveries ; because^ these, are beside 
a way of thinking they have been so long 
used to. Resolved, if ever I live to years, 
that I will be impartial to hear the reasons 
of all pretended discoveries, and receive 
themytif rational, how long so ever I* have 
been used to another way of thinking. 

Thursday, October 18.— -To follow the 

example of Mr. B- ^ who, though be 

meets with great difficulties, yet under- 



takes'tliem with a smilitig countenance, as 
though be thought t}iein but little; and 
speaks of them as if they were very 

Thursday, November 26.— ^It is a most 
evil and pernicious practice in meditating, 
on O0r afflictipBs, to ruminate on the ag- 
gravations of ti\e affliction, and reckon up 
the evil circumstances thereof, dwelling 
long on the dark side; it doubles and 
trebles the affliction. And so, when speak- 
ing of them to others as bad as we can, 
and use our eloquence to set forth our own 
troubles ; we thus are all the while making 
new trouble, and feeding the old ; whereasi 
the contrary practice would starve our 
afflictions/ If we dwelt on the light side 
of things in our thoughts, and extenuated 
them all that possibly we could when 
speaking of them, we sho^W^ then think 
little of them ourselves ; and the affliction 
would really, in a great measure, vanish 

Thursday nighty December 12. — If at 
aay time I am forced to tell persons of 
that v^herein I think they are something 

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to blame ; for avoiding the • important evil 
that would otherwise ensue, resolved not 
to tell it them in such a manner, that there 
shall be a probability of their takings it as 
the effect of little, fretting, angry emotions 
of mind. t 

December 31, at night. — Concluded 
©ever to ssfcrffer nor expr^s any angry 
emotions of mind more or less, except the 
honour of God calls for it, in zeal for him, 
or to preserve myself from being trampled 

Wednesday, Jan. 1, 1724. — Not to spend 
too much time in thinking even of ira* 
portant and necessary worldly business. To 
allow every thing its proportion of thought, 
according to its urgency and importance. 

Friday, Jan. 10. (After short4iand notes) 
Remember to act according to Prov. xii. 
23. A prudent man concealeth knotvledge. 

Monday,, Feb. 3. — Let every thing }»ve 
the value tiow, that it will have on a sick 
bed; and frequently in my pursuits of 
whatever kind, let this come into my mind; 
** How much shall I value this on my 

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Wednesday, Felx 5, — Have npt in time 
past, in my prayers, insisted enough upon 
glorifying God in the world, and the ad^ 
vancement of the kingdom of Christ, the 
prosperity of the church, and the good of 
men. Determined that this objection is 
without weight, viz. '^ That it is not likely 
that God will make great alterations in the 
whole world, and overturnings in kingdoms 
and nations, only for the prayers of <Hie> 
obscure person, seeing such things used to 
be done in answer to the united, earnest 
prayers of the whole church ; and if my 
prayers should have some influence, it 
would be but imperceptible and small.'* 

Thursday, Feb. 6.— More convinced than 
ever of the usefulness of religious conver- 
satioa« I find by conversing on natural 
philosophy, I gain knowledge abundantly 
faster, and see the reasons of things much 
clearer, than in private study. Wherefore, 
resolved earnestly to seek at all times for 
religious conversation ; and for those per- 
sons that I can with profit, delight, and 
freedom so converse with. 

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40 THE ]>IF£ or 

Sabbath-day, Feb. S3. — If I act accord- 
ing to my resolution, I shall desire riches 
no otherwise than as they are helpful to 
religion. But this I determine, as what is 
really evident from many parts of scripture, 
that to fallen man they have a greater ten:- 
dency to hurt reMgion. 

Saturday, May 23. — ^How it comes about 
I know not;- but I have remarked it hitherto, 
that at those times whep I have read the 
scriptures most, I have evermore been most 
lively, and in the' best frame* 

Saturday night, June 6,— This has been 
a remarkable week with me, with respect 
' to despondencies, fears, perplexities, mul- 
titudes of cares and distraction of thought; 
being the week I came hither (to New- 
Haven) in order to entrance upon the 
office of tutor of the college. I have now 
abundant reason to be convinced of the 
troublesomeness and perpetual vexation ^f 
the world. 

Tuesday, July 7.— When I am giving ; 
the relation of a thing, let me abstain from 
altering, either in the matter or manner of j 

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speaking, so much, as that if every one 
afterward should alter as much, it would at 
last come to be properly false. , 

Tuesday, Sept. 2. — By a sparing diet, and 
eating what is light and easy of digestion, 
I shall doubtless be able to think more 
clearly ; and shall gain time, 1st, By length- 
ening my life; Sdly, Shall need less time 
for digestion after meals; Sdly, Shall be 
able to study doser without wrong to 
my health ; 4thly, Shall need less time to 
sleep; 5thly, Shall more seldom be trou-^ 
bled with the head-ach, 

Sabbath-day, Nov**®2. — GbMidering'that 
byrstanders always espy some faults which 
we do not see, or at least are not so fiilly 
sensible of ourselves; for there are iftany 
secret workings of corruption which escape 
our sights and others only are seirstbliei of ; 
resolved, therefore, that I will, if I cin by 
any- conveniei^t means, learn what faults^ 
others find in me, or what things they, see 
in me that appear any way blame-worthy, 
unlovely, or unbecoming^ 

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SECT. m. 

Some Account of his Conversion^ Experience^ and 
Religious Ei^ercises^ written by himself. 

The foregoing extracts were written by 
Mr. Edwards when about twenty years of 
age^as appears by the dates. • The judicious 
reader, t^erefore> keeping this in mind, wttl 
ooake propedr allowance for some things 
which may appear, like the productioD& of a 
youi^ christian, both as to. the matter, and 
the manner of expression. And indeed^ 
the :Whole being taken together, these ap- 
parent Jli)emishes Have an important use. 
For hereby all seems more natond and 
genmne ; while the strength of his resoiu* 
tion, the fervour of hb mind, and a skill hi 
discrimiaating divine things, so seldom 
feaad. even fo old agie, appear the more 
striking; .A pdcture of hutnan nature in 
lis piwent state, though highly improved 
by grace, cannot be a trae reseaiblance c^ 
the original, if it be drawn all light, and no 
shades. In this view we shall be led to ad* 
mire Mr. Edwards's conscientious strictness, 

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his diligexice and zeal^ his deep experience in 
some particulars, and hia accurate judgment 
respecting the most important parts of true 
religion, at so early a period of life. Here 
we not only have the most convincing evi- 
dence of his sincerity in religion, and of 
his en^ging in a life devoted to God in 
good earne&t^ ^o as to make it his one 
f^tfU business; hut leani also, through his 
great, attenticm to tius matter, how in 
many instaaces he acquired the judgment 
and experience of grey hairs. 

Behold the commencement of a life so 
anineatly holy and usefull Behold, the 
views,^ the exercises, the lesolutions of a 
man who hecani^ one of the greatest di» 
vines c^ his age; one who had the appiauM 
and admiration of America, Britain, Hoi* 
land, and Germany, for his piety, judgment, 
and great usefulness. Behold herean csh- 
citement to the young, to devote diern^ 
selves to God with gneat sincerity, and 
enter on the work of strict religion without 
delay ; and more especially, those ^ho are 
looking 'forward towards the work of' the 
ministry. Behold then, ye students in 

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divinity, our future preachers and writer^ 
the most immediate and direct, yea the 
only way to answer the good ends which 
you profess to seek. *' Go, ye, and do 

It is to be lamented, that there is so 
much reason ta think, there are few m^ 
stances of such early piety in our day. If 
the protestant world abounded with young 
persons of this stamp; young men, pre* 
paring for the work of thiei ministry A?itb 
such a temper, such lexercises, and such re* 
sc^uticms, what a delightful prospect would 
be afforded of die near approach of happier 
days, thdn the church of Ood has ever yet 
seen ! What pleasing hopes, tliat the great 
and merciful head of the church was^ about 
to send forth labourer^, faithful, successful 
labourers into his harvest; and bless his 
people with >^ pastors which shall feed them 
with knowledge and understanding!" 

But if our youth neglect all proper im- 
provenient of the mind; are fearful of se- 
liousness and strict piety; choose to live 
at a distance from aH appearance of it; and 
aire addicted, to worldly pleasures;, what a 

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^oomy prospect is exhibited! If they 
who enter upon the work of the ministry, 
from a gay, careless, and what may justly 
be called a^vicious life, bqtake thepiselves 
to a little superficial study of divinity, and 
soon begin to preach; while all the ex- 
ternal seriousness and ecal they assume, is 
oaly from worldly motives; they being 
without any inward, experimental acquaiiit* 
ance with divine things, and even so much 
as any taste for true theology; nb wonder 
if tl\e people perish for lack of i^iritual 

Bur, as the best comment on the fore* 
going Resolutions and. Diary; and that the 
reader may have a more full and instructive 
survey of Mr. Edwards's entrance on a reli- 
gious life, and progress in it, as to the views 
aad exercises of his mind-, a brief acecmnt 
is here inserted, whidh was found among. 
his papers, in his. own hand- writing; and 
which, it seems, w?is written uearly twenty* 
years after, for. his own private advantage. 

" I had a variety of concerns, and eccerv 
cises about my soul from iny childhood; 
but had two more remarkable seasons of. 

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awakening, before I met with tliat change 
by which I was bfemght to those new dis- 
positiQti», and that new sense of things, that 
I have smce bad. The first time was when 
I was 3 boy, some years before I went to 
college^ at a time of remarkable awakemng 
m my father's congregation. I was then 
tery much affected for many months, and 
concerned abont the things of rtltgiGn, and 
my soal's sdvation^ and wds abundant in 
duties. I used to p4»ay hre times a day in 
secret, and to spend much tune in religious 
talk with other boys; and used to meet 
with them to pray together* I experienced 
I know not what kind of delight in re* 
li^on. My mind was much engaged in it, 
and had much self-fighteous pleasure; and 
it was my delight to aboimd in religious 
duties. I with some of niy school-mates 
joined together, and built a booth in a 
swamp, in a very retired spot, for a place 
of prayer. — And besides, I had particular 
secret places of i»y own in the woods, 
where I used to retire by mysetf; and was 
from time to time much affected. My af- 
foctions seemed to ^ foe lively and easily 

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moved, and I seemed to be in my .element 
when engaged in religious duties; And I 
am ready to think, many are deceived with 
such affections, and such a kind of delight 
as I then had in religion, and mistake it 
for grace. 

** But in process of time, my convictions 

and affections wore o£f ; and I entirely test 

all those affections and delights, and left off 

secret prayer^ at least aa( to any constant 

performance of it; and returned like a iog 

to his vomit, and went on in the ways of 

sin. Indeed I was at times, very, uneasy, 

especially towards the latter part o^ my 

time at collie; when tt pleased God to 

seize me with a pleurisy; m wUch he 

brought me nigh to the grave, and; shook 

ne over the pit of hell. And yet, it was 

Bot long after my recovery, before I fell 

again into my old ways of sin. But God 

would not suffer me to go on with any 

fipiietness; I had great and violent inward 

struggles, till, after many confiicts with 

wicked inclinations) repeated resolutions, 

^d bonds that I laid myself under by a 

kind of vows to God, I was brought ;wholIy 

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4ft THE litre OF 

to break oiF ail former wicked ways, and ail 
ways of known outward sin ; and to apply 
myself to seek salvation, and practise^many 
religions duties ; but without that kind of 
affection and delight which I had formerly 
experienced. My concern now Wrought 
more by inward struggles and conflicts', and 
self-reflections. I made seeking my salva^ 
tion the main business of my life. But yet, 
it seems to me, I sought aftet a miserable 
roaaaner; which has made me sometimes 
since to questkm, whether ever it issued in 
that wliidi was saving; b^ing ready to 
doubfv whether such miserable seeking ever 
succeeded. I was indeed brought to seek 
^ salvation in a manner that I never was 
before; I felt a spirit to part with all 
things in the world, for an interest ia 
Christ. My concern continued and pre- 
vailed, with many exercising thoughts an4 
inward struggles; but never seemed 
to be proper to express that concern by the 
name of terror. 

" From my Qhildhood i^, my niind had 
be^i full of ol^ctions against the doctrine 
of God's sovereignty,, in choosing whom he; 

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would to etcfrnal life, and rejecting wlioia 
he pleased ; leaving them eternally to perish^ 
and be everlastingly tormented in hell. It 
used to appear like a horrible doctrine to 
me. But I remember tlie time very well, 
when I seemed to be convinced, and fully 
satiraed^ as to this sovereignty of God, and 
his justice in thus eternally disposing of 
men, according to his sovereign pleasure* 
But I never could give an account how, 
or by what means, I was thus convinced, 
ROt in the least imagining at the time, nor 
a long time after, that there was aniy ex* 
traordinary influence of God's Spirit in it; 
but only that now I saw further, and my 
reason apprehended the justice and reason- 
ableness of, it However, my mtnd rested 
in it; and it put an end to all those cavils 
and objections. And there has been a won- 
derful alteration in my mind^ with respect 
to the doctrine of God's sovereignty, from 
&SLt day to this; so that I scarce ever have 
found so much as the rising of an objection 
against; it, in the most absolute sense, in 
God shewing mercy to whom he will shew 
mercyi and hardening whom he will God's 

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absolatc sovereigaty and justice, with te* 
spect to salvttt^n and dan^oation, is what 
fay mind seems ta rest assured of, as much 
as of any thing that I see with my eyet; 
at least it is so at times. J3ut I hare oftefi^ 
since that first conviction, had ^ite ^mo^ 
ther.kind of sense of God's sovereigivt^ 
than I had then. I liave often since hsd 
not only a conviction, but a deRgbtfui €xm* 
viction. The doctrine has very oftea ap 
peared exceedingly pleasant, bright, aild 
dweet. Absolute sovereignty is what I 
love to ascribe to God. But my first con^ 
viction vas not so, - 

^ The first instance that I rem^ber oE 
that sort of inward, sweet -delight m Gfod 
and divine things that I have lived »«ck 
in since, was on reading thoiie words, 1 Tim* 
i. • 17. Nam onto the Kimg etemaly imimft^A^ 
hrmibky the oniy wisft G0dy be hmmr Msd 
ghrg for ecer and ever^ Armn. A& I read 
the words, there came into my soul, and 
was aa it were diffused through it, a %mM 
of the glory of the Divine Being; a tiew 
scB^e, quite different from any thing I ev^ 
experienced before. Neveir any wot^a of 

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ieriptiire seamed to me as these worcb did* 
I thcfugbt with myself, how excellent 4 
8^Dg that was, and bow hap{>y I shoald 
be, if I might ^iijoy that God, and be 
#fipt up to him itf heaVetf, and be as it wert 
fti#dlowtfd up in him ftit evetl I kept 
layiBg,' dad, Hi k were, singirig oter th^ 
trords of sd#)ptc^6 to myself; add went to 
ptB^ t4» Ood that I might «BJoy him^ ami 
^yed in a manner quite diifefrent front 
%hat' I iised to do; with & new sort ol 
^cflReieilioii. But it never ca<ne iAfo ntf 
flnnight, that there wasf any thing sfHtitual^ 
** of a ^vitog nature in this. 

^ From about that tim^ I began to hav« « 
new kind €>fa^pFehensioiis and ideasof Chria^ 
md the i*Wk of redeniption^ and the gkn 
rions way. of salvation by* him. An in w4*cl 
tweet stens6 of thete (Siing^, at times, camd 
into my hei&rt; and my toul was led away 
iti. pleai^clt titvfi and contemplations of 
ftem; And tny miiirf <ras greatly engaged 
to spemf my time in reading and mcditah 
ting on Christ, on the beauty and excels 
Icncy of hia person, and the lovely way of 
^Ivalion by free grace m him. I found no 

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book^ so delightful to jne as those thai ! 
treated of these subjects. Those word^ 
Cant ii. 1. used to be abundantly )yith tx^ 
I am the rose of Sharon, and the tihf , ^ 
the vdlties. The words seemed tq me^ 
sweetly to represent the loveUqess and 
beauty of Je^us Christ. The whole boo^ 
of Canticles used to he pleasant to me; ^d 
I used to be much in reading it» about that 
time; and found; from time to time, an 
inward sweetness, that would carry^mis 
away in my contemplations* This I koqv 
pot how to express otherwise than hy^^ 
calm, sweet abstraction of soul from all the 
concerns qf this world; and sometipi^ a 
kind of vision, or fixed ideas and imagina- 
tions, of being alone, in the mountains, or 
some solitary wilderness, far from all ma^* 
kind, sweetly conversing ^with Christy sif^d 
wrapt and swallowed up in God« The s^nse 
I had of divine things, woiUd often of ^a 
sudden kindle up, as, it wer^ a |^weet bi|rni 
tnginmy heart; an ardour of sou^ that I 
know not how to express. 
' " Not long after I first beg^ to expe* 
licnpe these thing^y I gave an account to 

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ky father of some things that had passed 
i& my mind, I was pretty much affected 
by the discours_e we had together;' and 
Wheh the discourse was ended, I walked 
abroad alone, in a solitary place in my fa- 
ther's pasture, for contemplation. And as 
I was walking there, and looking up on 
the sky and clouds, there came into my 
mind so sweet a sense of the glorious ma^ 
jesty and grace of God, that I know not 
how to express. — I seemed to see them 
both in a sweet conjunction; majesty and 
meekness joined together: it was a sweet, 
and gentle, and holy majesty; and also a 
majestic meekness; ah awful sweetness; a 
high, and great, and holy gentleness. 

'^ After this my sense of divine things gn^ 
dually increased, and became more and more 
lively, and had more of that inward sweet- 
ness. The apearance of every thing was 
altered; there seemed to be, as it were, a 
calm, sweet cast, or appearance of divine 
gloryj in almost every thing. God's exceU 
lency, his wisdom, his puri ty,and love, seemed[ 
to appear in evbry thing; in the sun, moon; 
and stars; inthecloudSi and bluesky; in the 

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54. 'FHB LIFE 09 

gr^Jss, flowerSj trees ; in the welter, and all 
nature; which used greatly to fix my mind. 
I often used to ^it and view the moon for 
continuance; an4 in the day, spent ipuch 
time in viewing the clouds ^pd sky, to be- 
hold the sweet glory of God in these ^h^ngs: 
in the meai^ time, singing forth, witji gi low 
voice, my contemplations of the Creator 
and B^^eemer. And scarce any th^g 
among all the works of nature, was so s w^et 
to me as thunder and lightning; formerly, 
nothing h^ been so terrible to me. Be* 


I iised to be uncommonly tf^rrified 
with thunder, and to be struck with terror 
when I saw a thimdei^storm rising; but 
now, on the contrary, it rejoiced me, I 
felt God, so to speak, at the first appear- 
ance of a thunder-storm ; and used to take 
the opportunity, at such times, to fix myself 
in order tp view the clouds, and see the 
lightnings play, and hear the majestic and 
awful voice of God's thunder, which often- 
times was exceedingly entertdning, lead- 
ing me to sweet contempUtions of my. 
great and glorious God While thus . em 
gaged, it always seemed natural: to me ta 

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sing^ or chaunt forth my meditations} or» 
to »p€ak my thoughts in soliloquies witli a 
singing voice. 

. ^^ I felt then great satisfaction, as to my 
good state; but that did not content me» 
I bad vehement longings of soul after God 
and Christ, and after more holiness, where* 
with my heart seemed to be full and ready 
to break ; which often brought to my mind 
the words of jthe Psalmist,, Psal. cxix. 28; 
My 90ul breakethfor the longing it hatK 
I often felt a mourning and lamenting in 
my heart, that I had not turned to God 
sooner, that I might have had more time 
ifi grow in grace. My mind was greatly 
fixed on divine things; almost perpetually 
in the contemplation of them. I spent 
mtost of my time in thiuking of divine 
things, year after year; often walking alone 
in the woods, and solitary places, for medi- 
tation, soliloquy, and prayer^ and converse 
with God; and it was always my manner^ 
at such times, to sing forth my contempla^ 
tions. I was almost constantly in ejacu* 
latory prayer, wherever I was. Prayei 
seemed to be natural to me^ as the bteath 



by iirhich the inward burnings of my heart 
bad vent. The delights which 1 now felt 
in the things of religion, were of an ex- 
ceedingly different kind from those before- 
mentioned, that I had when a boy; and 
what I then had no more notion of, than 
one born blind has of pleasant and beauti* 
ful colours. They were of a more inward, 
pure, soul-animating, and refreshiilg nature. 
Those former delights never reached the 
heart; and did not arise from any sight of 
the divine excellency of the- thilogs of 
God ; or any taste of tlie soul-satisfying 
and life-giving good there is in them. 

" My sense of divine things seemed gra- 
dually to increase, till I went to preach at 
New York, which was about a year. and a 
half after they began ; artd while I was 
there, I felt them, very sensibly^ in ajmuch 
higher degree than I had done before^ 
My longings after God and holiness were 
much increased. Pure and humble, holy 
and heavenly Christianity, appeared ex- 
ceedingly amiable to me. I felt a burning 
desire to be in every thing a complete 
christian, and conformed to the blessed 

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\ im^ of Cfamt; and that I might live, in 

aU thmgS) according to the pure, sweet, 

and blessed rules of the gospel. I had an 

e^er thirsting after progress in these 

thills ; which put me upon- pursuing and 

^^sing after them. It was my continual 

strife day and night„ and constant inquiry,. 

how I should %t more holy, and livt more 

holily, and moye becoming a child of God, 

and a disciple of Christ. . I now sought an 

increase of grace and holiness, and a holy 

Hfe, with much more earnestness than ever 

I sought grace- before I had it. I used to 

be continually examining myself and 

studying and contriving for likely ways^ 

qnd meams how I should live holily, with. 

&r gre^ater diligence and earnestness than. 

ever I pursued any thing in^ my life; but 

yet with too great a dependence on my 

own strength), which afterwards proved a» 

great damage to me.. My experience had 

not the^ taught me,, as it has done since, 

my extreme, f/seblen^s^ and impotence, 

every manner of way ; and the bottoinlcss 

depths of secret corruption and deceit th^rt 

were in my heart However, I werit.,<p. 

D 5 * 

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S3 . THE LIFi: OF 

with my eager pursuit after liiore holtnew: 
and conformity to Christ. . . . - 

" The heaven I desired was a. heavcsi of 
holiness ; to be with God» an4 to sf^end mty 
eternity' in divine love, and holy comm»- 
nion with Christ. My mind was very mHch 
taken up widi contemplations on heaven^ 
and the enjoyments there; and living there 
in perfect holiness, humility, and love; and 
it u^ed at that time to appear a great part 
of the happiness of heaven, that there the 
saints could express their love to Chriet* It 
appearfxi to me a great dog and burden, 
tbat what I felt within, I could not express 
as I desired. The inward ardour of my 
aoul seemed to be hindered and pent up, 
and could not freely flame out as it would. 
I used often to think, how in heaven this 
principle should freely and fully vent and 
express itself. Heaven appeared exceed- 
ingly delightful, as a woild of love ; and that 
all happiness consisted in living in pure, 
humble, heavenly, divine love. 

, *^ I remember the thoughts I used then 
to have of holiness ; and Said sometimes ito 
myself, * I do^ certainly know that I love 

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botineds, such as the gospel prescribes/ It 
appeared ta me, that there was nothing in 
it but what was ravishingly lovely; the 
highest beauty and amiableness — ^a dhine 
Veauty; ,isLf purer than any thing here 
upon earthy and that every thing else 
waa like mire and defiJeroeiit in comparison 
of it. 

^* Holiness, as I then wrote down some 
of my contemplations on it, appeared to 
me to be of a sweet, pleasant, charming, 
serene, calm aajture ; which brought an in^ 
expressible- purity, brightness, peacefulnesa 
and ravishment to the soul. In other words^ 
that it made the soul like a field or garden 
of God, with all manner of pleasant flowers];: 
all pleas^it, delightful, and imdistuxbed; 
ttJ^i'Dg ^ swef t calm, and^ the gently vivi« 
fyJBg beams of the .sun. The so^l pf a 
true christian, aa I then wrote my medita-i 
tion^ appou^ed like such a little white 
flowe£ as we see in the spring of the year; 
low and bumble on the ground, opening it4 
bosom, tp receive the pleasant b^ms of th« 
sun's glory ; rejdicing, as it were, in a calm 
tapture ; diffushig around aaiiveet fiagcancyf 

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Standing peacefully and lovingly, in the 
midst of other flowers round about ; all in 
like manner opening their bosoms, to drink 
in the light of the sun. Tliere was no 
part of creatdre-holiness, that I had so 
great a sense of its loveliness, as humility, 
brokenness of heart, and poverty of spirit ; 
and there was nothing that I so earnestly 
longdd for. My heart panted after this, — 
to lie low before God, as in the dust; that 
I might be nothing, and that God might 
be ALL, that I might become as a little 
child. • ' 

*' While at New York, I som*6times was 
much iaffected with Veflections^ on my past 
lifei considering how late it was before I 
began to be truly religious; and how 
wickedly I had lived till then:' and once 
so as to weep abundantly, and for a consi* 
derable" time together. 

^'On January 12, 1723, I made a solemn 
dedication of myself to God, and wrote it 
down; giving up myself, and all that I had, 
V) God; to be for the future in no respect 
my own; to act as one tliat had no right 
to himtelf, in any respect. And I solemnly ^ 

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rowed to take God for my whole portion 
and felicity; looking on nothing else as 
any part of my happiness^ ixot acting as if 
it were; and his kw for the constant rule 
of my obedience: engaging to fight with. 
all my might, against the wcHrld, the flesh, 
and the devil/ to the end of my life. But I 
have reason to be infinitely humbled^ when 
I consider, how much I have fiiiled of 
answering qiy obligation. 

^I had then' abundance of sweet Telt>» 
^dus conversation in the family where I 
lived, with Mr. John Smith and his pious 
mother. My heart was knit in^affectbn to 
those in whom were appearances of tm& 
piety ; and I cpuld bear the thought]^ of no 
other companions,^ but such as were holy, 
ai^ tiie disciples of the blessed Jesus. I 
had great longings for the advancement of 
Christ's kingdom in the world; and my 
secret prayer used to, be, iu great part, 
taken :up iu praying for it. If I heard the 
least. hint of any thing that happened, in 
any pfert of the world, that appeared, in 
some, respect or other, to have a favourable 
aspect on the interest of Christ's kmgdom, 

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6s . .THE JtlM or : 

my, soul eagerly catchcd at it; and it would 
much animate and refresh m^.. I used to 
be eager to read pnMic news-letters, mainly 
for that end; to see if I could not &id 
some news fkvourable to die interest of 
religion in tb^ world. 

^^ I very frequ^itly used to retixe into a 
solitary place, on the banks of Hudson'^ 
River, at some distance from the city, for 
contemplation on divine things, and secret 
converse with God ; and had many sweet 
hours there. Sont^etimes Mr.- Smith and I 
wadked there together, to converse on the 
things of God ; and our cociversatioa used 
to turn m}}ch oil the advancement of Christ's, 
kingdom in the world,^ and the glorious 
things that God would accomplish for his 
church in the latter days. I had then, and 
at other times,^ the greatest delight in the 
holy scriptures, of any book whatsoever.. 
Oftentimes in reading it, every word seemed 
to touch my heart I felt a harmony be* 
tween something in diy heart,^ and those 
sweet and powerful words. I seemed often 
to see so much light exhibited by^ every 
sentence, and such a refreshing food com« 

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municatedy that I could not get afoag in 
reading; often dweiling long ogl one sen* 
tence, to see the tronderB< contained in it; 
and yet almost every sentence seemed ta 
be full of wonders. - * 

" I came away from New York in the 
month of April, 17S3, and had a most bitter 
parting with Madam Smith and her son. My 
hebrt seemed to dnk within me at leaving 
the family and city, where I bad enjoyed 
BO many sweet and pleasant days. I went 
from New York to \Veathen^ld> by water ; 
and 2te I sailed away, I kept sight of the^ 
city as Icmg as I could. However^ that 
night after this sorrowful partings I was 
greatly comforted m God at Westchester, 
where we went ashore t?o lodge ; and had a 
pleasant time of it all the V(^age to Say*^ 
brook. It was s\<reet to me to. think of 
meeting dear christians in heaven, where 
we should never part more. At Say brook 
we went ashore to lodge on Saturday, and 
Ihere kept the Sabbath^; where I had a 
sweet and refreshing season, walking alont 
in the fields. 

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"After I came home to Windsor^ I 
remained much in a like frame of mmd;.as^> 
when at New York ; only sometknes I fc^t 
my heart ready to aink with the thoughts, 
of my friends* at New York. My support, 
was in contemplations on the heavenly 
state ; as I find in my Wary of May 1, 1 728^. 
It wi» a c6mfort to: think of that st^te^ 
where there is fulness of joy j where reigns 
heavenly^ calm, ajid delightful love,, without, 
alloy ; where th&re are continually the 
dearest expressions of this love; where 
is the enjoyment of the persons loved, with- 
out ever painting; where those persons^whox 
appear so lovely in this world, will really 
he inexpressibly more lovely, and full of 
love to us.. And how sweetly will the 
mutual lovers join' together to sing the 
praises of God and the Lamb 1 Hoyf/^ will 
it fill us with joy to think, that this, enjoy*; 
ment, these sweet ejcercises, will never 
cease, but will last to all etepiity !— I con- 
tinued much in the same frame, in the 
general, as when? at New York, till I went 
to Newhaven as tutor of the college; par* 

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ticularly once at Bolton, on a joamey fiom 
BoatoD, wtiHe walking out alone in the 
fields. After I went to Newfaaven I simk 
in religion; my mind being dtvwted from 
my eager pursuits aft^ hbliMiss, by sa^ie 
aflltirs that greatly perplexed oad distmctcd 
my thoughts. 

^ In September, 17S5, I wi^ taken ill 
It Nbwhaven, and while endeavouring to 
^ home to Windsor, was so ill at the 
North Village, that I could go no further ; 
where I lay sick for about a quarter of a 
year. In this sicloaess God was pleased to 
visit me agGiin with the sweet influepces of 
bis Spirit. My imnd was greatly teng^ged 
there on divine, pleasant contemplation^ 
and longings of soul. I observed that 
those who watched with me, wo^ld often 
be looking out wishfully fqr the morning; 
which broi;(ght to my .mind those words of 
the Psalmist, and which my soul with de- 
light made its own language, My soul 
mitethfor the Lord^ mort than they that 
"watch Jot the morning, Isayytnore than they 
that watch far the morning; and when the 
light of day came in. at the windows it 

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refi:eshtd. my aoaLfrom one momiflg tp 
another. It seuned to be. some imagp of 
the Hgb( of God'« glory. 
s^i^l ii^member^i about that time, I used 
grfeafdy. to long ibr the convemion of some 
that I was concerned with ; I could gladly 
honour them, and with delight be a servant to 
tliem, and lie at their feet, if they were but 
truly holy. But, 'some time after this, I 
#as again greatly diverted in my mimi 
with some temporal concerns that exceed* 
ingly took up my. thoughts, greatly to the 
wounding of my soul; and went on 
iiirongh various exercises, that it would be 
tedious to relate, which gave me much 
more experienciB of my own heart than ever 
I had before. * 

" Sihce I came to this to\vn,* I have 
often had sweet complacency in God, in 
Views of hisi glorious perfections, and the 
ex:cellency of Jesus Christ. God has ap- 
peared to me a glorious and lovely being, 
chiefly 6ii the account of his holiness. The 
holinfess of God has alwaya appeared to 

' * ♦Northampton. 

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pc th^ i9€#jfe lovely of nU his ftttributcn. 
'fhe4oG|tri)Eie$of God'sab^oiutii 90i^ereigaty; 
ipd free gfietce, in shewing mercy to whom 
he would shew m^rcy ; md ina9> fihspluto 
im^ffabdei^e, 9^ tha opef^ipos of ^od's 
iffcly Sfintp Ji»ve Yipry off^n app^r^^ tO 
^ ira ^wpeli 494 glwi^us doptri»^$» 17ie«» 
4c^^tri9«Q, have heftn much my ddigbt» 
(Jo^ stfwjpe^^ bM9vef afjpoarei to mn 
pea£t part of las glwy. It hm oft^a been 
ny ddight to ap^o»q;h God, and a^r« 
likn as a »ov«r«igu God, and ask 9P¥ier«)gfi 
nsrcy of hkn* 

* ^< I fattve^ ioVdd ttie ^dcnetimet xi thft 

gospel; lliey have hem te Biy. tout Ulw. 

I green .paiicui^. The goapel has soeaaed to 

I me the richest treaBure^; the' Pleasure that' 

\ I have most :4ettred, and > longed that it 

mighi; 4'^ell richly in me. The way of 

salvation by. Christ haa appeared, in . a g!e-> 

neral way, glorious and excellent, most 

pleasant and most beautifuL It Hslp often 

seemed 'to, me, that it: would,: in a great 

fneasure, st>Qil heswen,toi receive it in my 

other wayw That text has dftcn }^e& 

sffecting and delightful U^ me, Isa. xxxu* ii« 

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A man shall be as an hiding pkicefrom tM 
mndj and a covert f rem the temped; m riveri \ 
^water in a dry place; as the shadM ^ a 
great rock in a weary land. -* 

<" '' It has often appeared to me delightftiV 
to be united to Christ; to have him for 
my beadj and to be a member of his body} 
also to have Christ for my teacher atid 
j^rophet. I very often diink with sweets 
ness, and longings, *And pantingd of sou\ 
of being a little child, taking hold of Christ, 
to be led by him through th^ wildemei^ olT 
this- world. That text, Matt; Kviii S. hi* 
dfbn beeo^swe^ to he^^Ercept yeM am- 
wr4edf and became mtittie etntdneHjyk skoB 
ndt* enter into the ykt^^dom .a^ he^oen. I 
k>ve to thinkt>f coming^ Christy to receive 
milvation of him^ poor in i^ixit, and quitd 
empty of self, humbly exalting fai^.a^oqe; 
cut off entirely from my own* root, in ord^ 
to 'grow into, and out of Christ: to Imve 
God in Christ to be all in all ;. a^ to live 
by faith on the Son of God, a life of 
Inimbte, unsigned confidence iinbin^; That 
soripiture ; has< often been SM'eet to ; iney 
FBal. cxv.. 1<: ^0^ tmto ui^ L^d^ natvmiik 

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1^ but tmto thy nam give gkry, for thy 
pwy, 4^ for thy trutV^ sake. ... And thoae 
irords of Christy Luke, x. SI* If$ that 
Hour Jesus rqfoiced in spirit^ ,'aml said^ I 
tl^-thee^O F^her^ Isrd ^ heaven and 
tarth, that thm hast hid these thmgsfrom 
ike mse and prudent , and hast revealed them 
mtob^etii : even sOy Fathery^fw s». it seemed 
I good m thySghf. I That tiftii^efeignty of God 
which : Christ !.4rf3<ti€ed. iiiy steom^d tO: me 
wortljy: ,oi f uch joy ; md' that .Tejoicing 
fe^ip^d to s^igw: the excetteacy of Christ, 
a»d.l>f whafc spirit he was. ; ; - 

/^SQiiieli6ies> only mentionixig: a single 
iroid p^u«<J my hcaxt to bum wittiiti: me ; 
or OBly aeieiiig the name of Christ, or the 
^^me of rsome: attribute) of God. And God 
^ s^ppeared glofiQus .to sa^ on account of 
the Tjdnjty. It has made-me havie exahin^ 
%>«ights of God, l^t he. subsists m thoee 
persons; Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. 
The OT^^eteat joy» ai^ delights I hme ex* 
pf^n^ced, 'hayej]0t beeii those that have 
^Wftft firpm: a hope: of jmy^ owa good estofeq 
HK'm a./ direct view,-of the > gloTious diingii 
^^tl)» g€«ji*i* When I enjay this snrtet* 

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r6 l«l«M6f 

iiess, it 9e€fns to c^Any fke iAk)ve tl 
tfaougkts ^f my eirti ^statte] if iieelKr 
duck tknes «i kfss* ^t I €iairiot betff; 
take off my e^e ftend^ tli^ gldriou^^ pkaftiHtb^ 
object I behold trkhbtit me; t^ tur» m^ 
eye in ixpotit myaelf, ^aadttif 6^6 gtiidi'i 
Mtete/ ^ • -■ V 

'* My lieatrl has been »ttcii ofi tbe «cM 
vimeemeat of^ CSirbtfs kittgdiym hi the 
world. The histories^ of i|^ ][)a«t adtiyticcM^ 
tnent of Christ^s kiti^om have been sweet 
to me. When t have 7e^ bi^torits ^f paiC 
ages, the pleasantest thing in all my teai^ 
mg haa bceii, to read 0f t\m kifigdofxi of 
Cfaiaat being pvc^mdted. And when I h»im 
exipected, in my tadang^ to eome to ai^ 
inch thing, I havte rejcdixut m the piesfM^et^ 
all the way a9 i r^ad. And my mUmA h» 
been amdi entcrtamed and delighted wUh 
the fcriptore pwisuM^ and propheek% 
which rdate to the fiitnte gtefrious advanc^-^ 
mxaxt xii Cbmf si kingdom upon etn^. 

^^ I hsve sometimes bad a sense of the 
cMeHent fnlnMSP of Qiriii^ and his meet*' 
BS8S and mitablenes&as « Saviour ; wherety 
ht has sppeaared to me, &r above aU^ tbs 

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eUef of ten tboasands; His blood and 
atonemeiM; have aj^awd awtett^ and bii 
tighteoiia&eas sweet; whkh j^n, always 
M^mpa&ied with ardeuey of a^irit; aud 
m^A stoiigglings and bfeathiitgs^ aad 
grooniiigs: that cannot be utteied, tOr be 
emptied of ifi(y«elf> and swallowed Up iis 

''Once, as I rode out into the woods 
for my htsdth, in 1737, having alighted 
from my hjDTde la a retired place, r as my 
manner commonly has been, to walk foi 
imnt eotiitfemplation and prayer, I had a 
mvf^ that fyimt was ejctrsordtMry, of the 
gloiy of Ate Son of God^ as JVlecfiator be- 
tween God and man^ and his wdnd4^ul, 
great, fitll, pmre and swe^t grace attd love, 
atkd meefk and g<enCle cottde»censMii« This 
grace tfastt af^peartsd so dali» and swee^ 
appeared also great above the b^avens, 
l^e person of Christ appeared ineffably 
excellent, wi^ an esedleaey great enongfa 
^ swallow up atl thotighrt and conception 
'^'^hieh ^ontinaed^ as near as I can judge, 
liboiit dsi hour ; winch kept me, the gteat^ 
p^tt of the time^ in a flood of tears^ and 

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7f THE XUPE OF . 4 

weeping aloud. I felt an ardeacy of soui 
to be,, what I know not .otherwise how ta 
express, emptied^nd anaibilated ; to }ie m 
the: dust, and to be full of Christ al<me ; , to 
tovc him with a holy and pure JoVf; to 
trust in htm; to live upcm hitn; to:a$;rv^ 
and follow him; and to beper^ctly san^* 
tified and made pure, with a divinp and 
heavenly* purity. I have^ several other 
times, had views very much of the saiiiQ 
nature, .and which have had , the ^ same 
effects, ' . ; 

. /^ I bavie, many [times, bad a. sense of the 
glory of the third person in the Trinity, in 
his office of Sanctifier; in his hqly opera- 
tions^ communicating divi4e light and life 
to the souL, God,: in the communications 
of his Ho^ . 3piritv ha^ appeared as an infi* 
nite .fouiM;ain of divine glory and sweet- 
ness; being full, and suiBcient to fill and 
satisfy the soul; pouting forth itself in 
sweet communicadpns; .like the. sun in 
its glory, sweetly -and pleasantly diffusing 
)ight and life. And I have sometimes had 
an affecting sense itf the excellency of the 
word <rf God, as a word ^f life; as the 

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fight of life ; a sweet, excellent, life-giving 
word; accompanied with a thirsting afiter 
that word, that it migbt dwell richly in my 

" Often, tittce I lived in this town, I have 
had very affecting views of my own sinful- 
ness and vileness ; very frequently to Such 
a degree as to hold me in a kind of louci 
weepinjg, sometimes for a considerable time 
together; so that! have often been forced 
to shut myself up. I have had a vastly 
jtreater sepse of my OMm wickedness, and 
the badaesa of. my heart, than ever I had 
before my conversion.* It lias often ap» 

^ Mr. Edwards does not say, that be 'had mare wicked* 
B«88; and badness of hearty after his conVersidn, than he 
had before ; bat that he bad a ^ealerveiff e th^lneoL ' Thiui 
a bliiid man may have his garden^// of noxiom weeds^ and 
yet not set or be sensible of them. Bat should the garden 
Be in great part cleared of these, ^and fnri^h'ed with many 
beaotlfiil and 'salutary, plants; and supposing the owner 
]u>w to have the power of discriminating objects of sight; 
in this case, he wonld hone less, but Wonld'tee, and have % 
tense of more. And thus it was that St. Paul, though 
greatly freed from sin, yet taw and fiU himself as! '' the 
chief of sinners.'^ To which may be added, that the bettf t 
the organ, and the clearer the light may be, the stronger 
will be the sense excited by sin or holiness. 

' E 

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peared to nie, that if God should mark 
iniquity against me, I shotild appear the 
. veiy worst of all mankind ; of all that have 
been, since the beginning of the woiid to 
this time; and that I should have by far 
the lowest place in heU. When others, that 
liave come to talk with me about their sout 
concerns, have expressed the sense they 
have had of their own wickedness, by say« 
ing that it seemed to them, that they were 
as bad as the devil himself, I thought their 
expressions seemed exceedingly faint and 
ieeble, to represent my wickednesSi. 

" My wickedness, as I am in myself, hail 
long appeared to me perfectly ineffable, and 
swallowing up iall thought and imagination; 
like an infinite deluge, or mountains over 
my head. - I know not how to express 
better what my sins appear to me to be, 
than by heaping infinite upon infinite, ajid 
multiplying infinite by infinite. Very often, 
for these many years, these exjpressions are 
in my mind, and in my mouth, ^ Infinite 
upon infinite — Infinite upon it^niter — 
When I look into my heart, and take a view 
of my wickedness, it looks like an abyss 

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iafioitely deeper than hell. And it appears 
to me, that .were it not. for free grace, ex« 
alted and raised up to the infinite heigfal 
of all the fulness and glory of the great 
Jdiovah, and the arm of his power and 
grace stretched forth in all the majeaty of 
his power, and in all the glory of his 8o» 
vereignty, I should appear sunk down in 
my sins below hell itself;, far beyond the 
fight of every thing, but the eye of sove* 
reign grace, that can pierce even down td 
such a depth. And yet it seems to me^ 
that my conviction of f&a is exceedingly 
small, and faint; it is enough to amaze me^ 
that I have no more sense of my sin. I 
know certainly, tliat I have very little sense 
of my sinfulness. When I have had turns 
of weeping and cryuig for my sins, I thought 
I knew at the time, that my rq>entanoe 
was Aothing to my sin. 

** I have greatly longed of late for a 
broken heart, and to He low before God; 
and, when I ask for humility, I cannot bear 
the thoughts of being no more humble than 
other christians. It seems to m^ ^t 
though their degrees of hanility' may be 

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76 • THE LIFE Of 

raitable for them, yet it would be s 
vile self^xaltation in me, not to be the 
lowest in humility of all mankind. Oth^i* 
speak of their longing to be ' humbled to 
llie dust;' that may be a proper expressioii 
for them, but I always think of myself, that 
I ought (and it is an expression that has 
long been natural for me to use in prayer)^ 
* to He infinitely low before God/ And i«^ 
is affecting to think, bow ignorant I was, 
when a young christian, of the bottomless, 
infinite depths of wickedness, pride, hypo- 
crisy, and deceiti left in my heart. 

" I have a much greater sense of my 
liniversal, exceeding depend^ce on God's 
grace and strength, and mere good plea- 
sure, of late, than I used formerly to have; 
and have experienced more of an abhor- 
rence of my own righteousness. The very 
thought of any joy arising in me, on any 
consideration of my own aniiabkness, per- 
£brmance6» or experiences, or any goodness 
of .heart or life, is nauseous and detestabte 
to Hie* And yet i am greatly afflicted tvith' 
aupit)u4and self-righteous spirit, much more . 
sensibly than I used to be formerly. H ste I 

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that serpent rising and puttiog forth its 
head continuaHy, every where, all around 

^' Though it seems to me, that, in some 
respects, I was a far better christian, for 
two or three years after my first conversion^, 
than I am now; and lived in a more con* 
stant delight and pleasure ; yet, of late 
years, I have liad a more full and constant 
3ense of the absolute sovereignty of God^ 
and a delight in that sovereignty ; and have 
had more of a sense of the gloiy of Christi 
us a mediator revealed in the gospel. On 
one Saturday night, in particular, I had 
such a discovery of the excellency of the 
gospel above all other doctrines, that I 
could not but say to myself, * This is my 
chosen light, my chosen doctrine :' and of 
Christ, * This is my chosen Prophet/ It 
appeared sweet, beyond all expression, to 
follow Christ, and to be taught, and en- 
lightened, and instructed by him ; to learn 
of him, and live to him. Another Saturday 
^^ghtj (Jan. 1739) I had such a se^nse, how 
^weet and blessed a thing it was to walk in 
the way of duty ; to do that \Vhich was pgh% 

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78 THE LIFE or 

and meet to be done, and agreeably to the 
holy mind of God; that it caused me to; 
break forth into a kind of loud weeping 
which held nic some time, so that I was 
forced to shut myself up, and fasten thcJ 
doors- I could not but, as it were, cry out 
• How happy are they which do that which 
is right in the sight of God! They arc 
blessed indeed, they are the happy ones!' I 
had, at the same time, a very affecting sense, : 
how meet and suitable it was that God 
should govern the world, and order all^ 
things according to his own pleasure ; and I 
rejoiced in it, that God reigned, and that! 
his will was doner*^ 


His general Deportment, particularly while at 

In the first chapter of these Memoirs, we 
have seen that Mr, Edwards, having taken | 
his Master's degree, was very soon invited 
to be tutor of the college where he received 

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his education, and which conferred upon 
him that degree ; a clear indication that the 
managers had a high opinion of his talents 
and qualifications, when only in the twenty* 
first year of his. age. It must be owned, 
that this was an engagement of great con« 
sequence for so young a man ; especially, 
considering that no small portion of his 
time had been devoted to ministerial occu- 
pations, and the requisite preparatory studies 
which relate exclusively to that important 
business. But the strength of his mind 
overcame difficulties, which to the gene- 
rality of students appear insuperable. It 
must be allowed, indeed, that Mr. Edwards 
was not in what some call the highest class 
of learned men; for his time, his means, 
and his duties, did not allow of such an at- 
tainment. We should recollect, however; 
what Mr. Locke somewhere very properly 
obsei-ves, that though men of much reading 
" are greatly learned, yet they may be but 
little knowing.'^ In some situations and cir- 
cumstances^ he might have been a great 
linguist, a profound mathematician, a dis- 
tinguished natural philosopher; but, (with- 

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80 T»E LIFE or 

out any designed reflection cm those wb( 
excel in these or any other branches^ o 
literature and science,) he was far morci 
hap'pily employed, both for himself ^nd| 
others. In fact, he h^s givep proofs of ^ 
mind so uncommonly vigorous and enlight- 
ened, that it is rather ^ matter of joy it was 
^ot engrossed by studies,^^which would liave^ 
rendered him only the admiration of a few, 
but prevented him from producing those 
works which are of universal importance^ 
and in which he appears as the instructor 
of all. He bad, in short, the best and sub-^ 
limest kind, of knowledge, without being 
too much encumbered with what was un« 
necessary, or but little compatible with hi& 

We have also seen that Mr. Edwards re* 
signed the office of tutor at Yale College, 
when he had been there, in that capacity, a 
little more than two years, in consequence 
pf an invitation from Northampton, in Mas^^ 
sachusets, in order to assist his mother's 
father, the aged and venerable Mr. Stod- 
dard,— In th^ present chapter, we pjopose 
to detail bis general demeanour, more 

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particularly while at tUs^ pkce ; which, in^ 
connection with the umrommon revival of 
religion, there, of which he was the happjr 
sod honoured instrument, is a very interest* 
lag period of his life. 

, He who enters into the true spirit of Mr. 
Edwards's writings, and especially of the 
ample extracts we have given from his pri-i 
vate papers, caunot question that he made 
concience of private devotion ; but as he 
made a secret of such exercises, nothings 
can be said of them but what his papers 
(Mscover^ and what may be fairly inferred 
from circumatences. It appears, by his 
Diary, that in his youth he determined to 
practise secret prayer more than twice a 
day, when circumstances would allow ; and 
there is. much evidence that he was fre-« 
quent and punctual in that duty, often 
Isept days of fasting and prayer, and set 
apart portions of time for devout medita^' 
tions on spiritual and eternal things, a& 
part of his religious exercises in. retire- 

So far as it can be known, he was much 
OB; his knees in secret, and in devoutly 
E 5 * 

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reading God's word, and meditation upon 
it. And his constant solemn converse 
with God in these exercises, made his face, 
as it were, to shine before others. His 
appearance, his countenance, his words, 
and whole demeanour, (though without 
any thing of affected grimace, or sour 
austerity,) were attended with a serious- 
aess, gravity, and solemnity, which were 
the genuine indications of a deep, abiding^ 
sense df divine things on his mind, and of 
his living constantly in the fear of God. 

Agreeably to his resolutions, he was very 
careinl and abstemious in eating and drink- 
ing; as doubtless was necessary for so great 
a student, and a person of so delicate a make 
as he was, ili order to be comfortable and 
useful. When he had, by carefnl observa* 
tion, found what kind, aiid what quantity 
of diet best suited his constitution, and 
rendered him most fit to pursue his work, 
he was very strict and exact in complying 
with it. In this respect he lived by rule; arid 
herein he constantly practised great self- 
denial; which he also did in his constant 
early rising, in order to redeem time for 

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Study. He accustomed himself to rise at 
four, or between four aud five, in the 

Tliough he was of a tender constittttioB» 
yet few students are capable of a closer or 
^longer application, than he was. He com« 
monly spent thirteen hours, every day, in 
his study. His usual recreation in summer, 
was riding on horseback and walking* 
He would commonly, unless prevented by 
company, ride two or three miles ai%er 
dinner to some lonely grove, were he would 
dismount and walk a while. At such 
times he generally carried his pen and 
ink with him, to note any thought that 
might be suggested, and which promised 
some light *on any important subject. Iq 
the winter, he was wont^ almost daily^ 
to take an axe, and chop wood, mode* 
rately^ for the space of half an hour or 
more. "" 

He had an uncommon thirst for know* 
ledge,, in the pursuit of which he spared 
no cost or pains. He read all the books^ 
especially books of divinity, that he could 
procure, from which he might l^pe to de« 

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14 TfiE LIFE OF 

rive any aid in his pursuit of knowledge. 
And jn this he did not confinq liiniself to 
authors of any particular se^t or denomi- 
nation; but even took much pains to ob- 
tain the works of the most noted writers 
who advanced a scheme of divinity most 
opposite to his own principles. But he 
Studied the bible ntore than all other books» 
and more than most other divines do. His 
uncommon acquaintance with the scriptures 
appears in his sermons, and in most of his 
publications; and his great attention in* 
studying them is manifest ki his manuscript 
notes upon them ; of which a mote particular 
account will be given hereafter. He drew 
his religious principles fr6m the bible, and 
not from any human system or body of 
divinity. Though his principles /were 
CahinistiCy yet he called no man Faliien 
He thought and judged for himself, and was 
truly very much of an original. Reading 
was not the only method ;he took to im- 
prove his mind; he was much given to 
writing, without which, probably, no stu- 
dent canr make improvements to the best 
advantage. Agreeably to Resolution llth^ 

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he applied himself, with all his niight, to 
find out the truth : he searched for under- 
standing and knowledge as for silver, and 
digged for it as for hid treasures. Every 
thought, on any subject, which appe^ared to 
him worth pursuing and preserving, he 
prosecuted as far as he then could, with a 
pen in his hand. Thus he was all his days, 
like the busy bee, collecting from every 
opening flower,, and storing up a stock of 
knowledge, which was indeed sweet to him,, 
': as the honey and the honey-comb. And 
as he advanced in years and in knowledge^ 
his pen was more and more employed, 
, and his manuscripts grew much faster on 
I his hands. 

I He was thought by some^ who had but 
i a slight acquaintance with him, to be stiff 
I and unsociable; but this was owing to 
the want of greater intimacy. He was not, 
indeed> a man of many words, and was 
somewhat reserved among strangers, and 
those ori whose candour and friendship he 
did not know he could rely. And this was 
probably owiilg to two things. First, the 
strict guard he set over his tongue from 

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hw youth, which appears by his resolutions, 
taking great care never to use it in any 
way that might prove mischievous to any ; 
never to sin with his tangae; nor to employ 
it: in idle, trivial, and impertinent talk, 
which generally makes up a great part of 
the conversation of those who are full of 
words in all companies. He was sensible 
that, in the multitude of words, there 
wanteth not sin; and therefore refrained 
his lips, and habituated himself to think 
before he spoke^ and to propose some good 
end even in all his words; which led him 
to be, above others, conformably to an apos- 
tolic precept, shw to speak. Secondly, thits 
was in part the effect of his bodily consti** 
tution. He possessed biit a comparatively 
small fund of animal life; his spirits were 
low, and he had not the strength of lungs 
that would be necessary in order to make 
him what might be called an affable, face- 
tious gentleman, in all companies. They 
who have a great flow of animal spirits^ 
atid so can speak with more ease and lesjS 
expence than others, may doubtless law- 
fully practise free conversation in all cowf^ 

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panics for a lower end, e. g. to please^ of 
to render themselves acceptable. But not ' 
80, he who has not such a stock; it be- 
comes kirn to reserve what he has for 
higher and more important service. Be- 
sides, the want of animal spirits lays a man 
under a natural inability of exercising that 
freedom of conversation, at all times, and 
in whatever company he is, which those of 
more life naturally glide into; and the \ 
greatest degree of a sociable disposition, 
humility and benevolence, will not remove 
this obstacle. 

He was not forward to enter into any dis- 
pute among strangers, and in companies 
where there might be person's of different 
sentiments; being sensible, that such dis- 
putes are generally unprofitable, and often 
sinful, and of bad consequence. He thought 
he conld dispute to thd^ best advantage 
with his pen; yet he was always free to 
give his sentiments on any subject proposed 
to him, and to remove any difficulties or 
objections offered by way of enquiry, as 
lying in the way of what he looked upon 
to be the truth. But how groundless the 

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83 TOB. LfFE OW i 

imputation of stif* land umoctable was, ki*^ 
intimate arwi tried friends best knew; They 
always found him easy of access, kind and 
condescending; and though not talkativei 
yet affable and freCi. Among $uch whose 
caiidouF and friendship he had experienced^ 
he threw off reserve, and was most opea 
and frank; quite patient of contradiction,; 
while the utmost opposition was made to 
his. sentiments, that could be by any plaur^ 
sible arguments or objections. And indeed,, 
he was, on all occasions, quite sociable and 
free with all who had any special business 
with him.. 

In his family,. he practised that conscir 
cn^tious exactness which was conspicuous 
in all his ways. He maintained a great 
esteem and regard for his amiable and ex- 
cellent consort. Much of the tender and 
kind was expressed in his conversation with 
her,, and conduct towards, her. He was 
wont frequently to admit her into his study^ 
and converse freely with her on matters of 
religion; and he used comnK)nly to priy: 
with her in his study, at least once a day, 
unless something extraordinary prevented. 

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The time for this, comiftouly, was jurt be- 
fore going to bed, after prayer in the 
/amily. As he j^ose very early himsdf, he- 
was wont to have his family up betimes in 
the morning; after which, before they en- 
tered on the business of the day, he attended 
on family prayer: when a chapter in the 
bible was read, commonly by candle-light 
ia the winter; upon which he asHed his 
children questions according to their age 
and capacity; and took occasion to exphiiii 
some passages in it, or enforce iany dnty 
recommended, &c. as he thought most 

He was careful and thorough in the go- 
vernment of his children ; and, as a conse- 
quence of this, they reverenced, esteemed, 
and loved him. He took special care to 
begin his government of them in good time. 
When they first discovered ^.ny consider- 
able degree of self-will and stubbornness, 
be would attend to them till h© had tho- 
roughly subdued them and brought them 
to submit, • Such prudent discipline, exer- 
cised with the greatest calmness, being 
repeated once or twice, was generally ^uf* 

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ficien^t for that child ; and efFectually estab- 
lished his parental authority, and produced 
a cheerful obedience ever after. 

He kept a watchful eye over his chil- 
dren, that he might admonish them of the 
Jir^ wrong step, and direct them in the 
right way. He took opportunities to con- 
verse with them in his study, singly and 
closely, about their souls* concerns; and 
to give them warning, exhortation, and 
direction, as he saw need. He took much 
pains to instruct them in the principles.of 
rdigion; in which he made use of the 
Assembly's Shorter Catechism: not merely 
by taking care that they learned it by 
heart; but by leading them into an under- 
standing of the doctrines therein taught, 
by asking them questions on eacli answer, 
and explaining it to them. His usual time 
to attend to this was on the evening before 
the Sabbath. And, as he believed that the 
Sabbath, -or holy time, began at sun-set 
the evening before the day, he ordered his 
family to finish all their secular business by 
tliat time, or before ; when all were called 
together^ . a psalm was sung, and prayer y 

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offered, as^an introduction to the sanctifica- 
,tion of the Sabbath. This care and exact- 
ness effectually prevented that intruding on 
holy time, by attending to secular business, 
which is too common even in families whert 
the evening before .the Sabbath is pretended 
to te observed. 

He was a great enemy to young people's 
unseasonable associating together for vain 
amusements, which he regarded as a dan- 
gerous step towards conupting and bring- 
ing them to ^uin. And he thought the 
excuse many parents make for tolerating 
their children in it, (viz. that it is the cus- 
tom, and the children of others practise it, 
which renders it difficult, and even impossi* 
ble to impose restraint,) was insufficient and 
frivolous; and manifested a great degree 
of stupidity, on supposition that the prac- 
tice was hurtful and pemicioos to their 
souls. And when his children grew up, 
. he found no dijBSculty in restraining them 
from this mischievous custom; but they 
cheerfully complied with the will of their 
parents. He allowed none of his children 
to be from home after nine o'clock at nighty 

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when they went ahroad to see their friends^ 
and coiBpanions ; neither were they, pter- 
Biitted to sit up much after tlmt time, in his 
own house, when any came to make them a 
visit. If any gentleman desired .acquaint* 
ance with his daughters, after handsomely 
introducing himself, by properly consulting 
the parents, he was allowed all proper op- 
portunity for it; but was not to intrude on 
tlie proper hours of rest and sleep, nor the 
religioii and order of the family. , 

He had a strict and inviqla^le regard to 
justice in all his dealings with his neigh- 
t^urs, and was very carefiil to provide 
things honest in the sighi; of aU men; so 
that scarcely a man had any deaUngs with 
him, that was not conscious of his upright- 
ness. He appeared to have a sacred regard 
to truth in his words, both in promises and 
narrations, agreeably to his resolutions* 
This doubtless was one reason why he was 
not so full of words as many are. No man 
feared to rely on his veracity. . 

He was cautious in choosing his intimate 

JriendSf and therefore had not many that 

might propierly be called Stuchj but to tl^em 

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ke shewed himself friendly in a peculiai' 
maimer. He was indeed a faithful friend, 
and able above most others to keep a 
secret. To them he discovered himself 
more than to others, led them into his views 
and endsy and to the reasons of his conduct in 
particolar instances : by which they had 
almiidaiit evidence ^that be well understood' 
' human nature; and that his general resserve, 
and inany particular instances of his deport- 
men^ which a stranger tnight impute to 
ignorance of men, were really owing to 
his uncommon knowledge of mankind. 

His conversation with his friends was 
always highly profitable; in this he WasI 
reniarkable, and almost singular. — He 
was not wont to spend his time with them 
in scandal, eviUspeaking, and 'back-biting> 
or in foolish jesting, idle chat, and telling 
stories; but his mouth was that of the just, 
which bringeth forth wisdom, and whose 
lips dispense knowledge. His tongue. was 
as the pen of a ready writer, while he con- 
versed about important, heavenly, divine 
things, which his heart Was so full of, ii* 
such a natural aii^d ftee manner, as to be 

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94 ^rHE I-IFE OF 

fnost entbrtaining and instructive.; so that 
none of his friends could enjoy his c<Mnpany 
without information and profit^ unless it was 
by their own fault 

His great benevolence to mankind did* 
covered itself, among other ways, by the 
uncommon re^rd he shewed to libaalttf, 
and charity, tp the poor :and distressed. 
He strongly recommended this, bc^th in 
his public ' discourses and private cmvet* 
sation. He often declared it to be his 
opinion^ that professed christians in these 
days are greatly deficient in this duty; and 
much more so than in most other parts of 
external Christianity. He often observed 
how much this is spoken ofi recommended, 
and encouraged in the holy scripture, 
especially in the New Testament And it 
was his opinion, that every particular church • 
ought, by frequent and liberal contributions, 
to maintam a public stock, that might be 
ready.^r the poor and necesintous memtew 
of that church: and that the principal 
business of deacons is to take care of hie 
poor, in the faithftil mid judicious distri- 
bution sad improvcinent of the duircb's 1 

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temporals, lodged in their hands. And he 
did not content himself with only recom^ 
mending charity to others, but practised it 
much himself: though, according to his 
Master^sadvice^he took great care to conceal 
his acts of benevolence; by which means, 
doubtless, most of his alms-deeds will. be 
unknown till the resurrection, but which, 
if known, would prove him to be as great 
an instance of charity as almost any that 
can be produced. This is not mere con« 
jecture, but is evident many ways. He 
was forward to give on all public occasions 
of chanty, though when it could properly 
be done, he always concealed the sum given* 
And some instances of his giving more, pri- 
vately, have accidentally come to the know- 
ledge ^f others, in which his liberality ap- 
peared in a very extraordinary degree. One 
of the instances was this : upon hearing 
that a poor obscure man, whom he never 
saw, or any of his kindred, was by an ex- 
traordinary bodily disorder brought to great 
straits; he, unasked, gave a considerable 
sum to a friend to be delivered to the dis- 
tressed pc^rson ; having first required a pro- 

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mise of him, that he would let neither the 
person who was the object^ of his bounty, 
nor any one else,' "know by whom it wa8> 
bestowed. This may serve both as an 
instance of his extraordinary charity, and of 
his great care to conceal it.* 

Mr. Edwards had the most universal cha- 
racter of. a good preacher of almost any 
minister in America, There were but few 
that heard him, who did not call him a 
good preacher, however they might dis^ 
like his religious principles, and be niuch 
offended at the same truths when delivered 
by others; and most people admired him 
above all that ever they heard. His emi- 
nence as a preacher seems to have been 
owing to the following things : 

Firsty The great pains he took in com- 
posing his sermons, especially in the first 
part of his life. As by his early rising, and 
constant attention to study, he had more 
time than most others, so he spent more 

*■ As both the giver, and the t>bject of bis chsaty ar» 
dead, and all the ends of the proposed secrecy are answered, 
it is thought not inconsistent with the above-mentioned 
promise^ to make known liie fact, as it is here rc^afed^ 

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time in making his sermons. He wrote 
most of them at full length, for nearly 
twenty j^ears after he first began to preach ; 
though he did not wholly confine himself 
to his paper in delivering them. 

Secondbfy His great acquaintance with 
divinity, and knowledge of the bible. His 
extensive information, and great clearness 
of thought, enabled him to discuss every sub- 
ject with peculiar judgment and propriety, 
and to bring out of his treasure things new 
and old. Every topic he bandied was 
instructive, plain, entertaining, and profit- 
able; which was much owing to his being 
master oi the subject, and his great skill 
\n treating it in a natural, easy, and ad- 
vantageous manner. None of his compo- 
sures were dry speculations, unmeaning 
harangues, or words without ideas. When 
he dwelt on those truths which are much 
controverted and opposed by many, which 
was often the case, he would set them iu 
such a natural and easy light, and every 
sentiment, from step to step, would drop 
from his lips, attended with such clear and 
striking evidence, both from scripture wd 

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§8 ' TfiE LIFE OF 

Reason, as eveii to force the assent of every 
attentive hearer. 

Thirdly y His excellency s^s a preacher was 
very much the.eflFect of his great acquaint* 
anqe with his own hear^ his inward sense 
and high relish of divine truths, and expe- 
rimental religion. This gave him a great 
insight into human nature : he well knew 
what was in man, both the saint and the 
isinner. This helped him to be skilful, to 
lay truth before the mind so as not only to 
convince the judgment, but also to touch 
the heart and conscience; and enabled him 
to speak out of the abundance of his heait 
what he knew, and testify what he had 
seen and felt. This gave him a taste and 
discernment, without which he eould not 
have been able to fill his sermons, as he 
did, with such stnking, affecting senti- 
ments, all suited tp render solemn, to move, 
and to rectify the heart of the hearer. His 
sermons were well arranged, not usually 
long, and had commonly a large part taken 
up in the improvement; which was closely 
connected with the subject, and consisted 
in sentiments naturally flowing fxov(i it 

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But no dcscriptiou of his sermons will givfe 
the reader the idea of them which they had 
who 5at under his preaching. 

His appearance in' the pulpit was with a 
good grace, and his delivery easy, natural, 
and very, solemn. He had not a strong, 
kmd voice ; but appeared with such gravity 
and solemnity, and spoke, with such dis* 
tinctness, clearness, and precision; his 
words were sp full of ideas^ set in such a 
plain and striking light, that few sp^kert 
have been so able to command the attention 
of an audience. His words* often discovered 
a great degree of inward fervour, withocrt 
much noise or external emotion, and fell 
with great weight i>n the minds of his 
hearers* tie made but little motion with his 
head or hands; but spoke so as t» discover 
the motion of his own hearty which tended 
hi the most natural andeffectual manner to 
move and affect others. Though he carried 
his notes with him, and read most that he 
wrote, yet he was not confined to them; if 
some thoughts were suggested while he 
was speakings which did not occur to him 
when wcitini^r an^ appeared pertinent^ h6 

-'it O jL ty * 

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would deliver them with as great propriety 
and fluency as any pait he had written; 
and often with greater .pathos, attended 
with a more sensibly good effect on his 

But though^ as pbaerved, he was wont to 
read so considerable a part of what he 
delivered; yet he was far from thinking 
this the best way of preaching in general, 
and looked npoa his using notes so much 
as he did| a defect and infirmity. And in 
the latter part of his life he was inclined to 
think it had been better, if he had never 
accustomed himself to use his notes at all. 
It appeared to him that preaching wholly 
without notes, agreeably to the cuftom in 
most Protestant countries/and which seems 
evidently to have been the manner of the 
apostles and primitive ministers of the 
gospel, was the most natural way ; and had 
the greatest tendency, on the whole, to 
answer the end of preaching : and he sup* 
posed that any one who had talents equal to 
the work of the ministry, was capable of 
speaking memoriiery if he took suitable 
. pains for this attainment from his youth. 

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He would have the young preacher write 
his sermons, at least most of them, out at 
large; and instead of reading them to his 
heai;ers, take pains to commit them to 
memory; which, though it would require 
a great dieal of labour at first, yet would 
soon become easier by use, and help him to 
speak more correctly and freely, and be of 
great service to him all his days.* 

* Were the writer of tbis note allowed to drop a hint an 
so delicate a subject^ it wonld be this. Different preachers^ 
like all other public i^peakers, are possessed of exceedingly 
different gifts ; and therefore one plan, however excellent 
on the whole, cannot be adopted advantageonslj by all. 
^Ia oncy clearness of understanding and correctness of 
jud0meni me most prominent ; in another, a liTcly and jRer* 
tile imagination prevails ; and a third excels in strength of 
fnemtny. Some have a greater fiicility of expression at 
leisure, by the pen ; and others experience more freedom 
w^n their senses and feelings are roused by their appear- 
ance in public. The man who- excels in a soundjudgment 
seldom possesses a ILvdy imagination ; he therefore should 
vrito tiie moreVwithaview to give animation to his com* 
posijtions. He should secure in his notes pertinent quota- 
tions of scripture, apt cpn^arisons, scripture allusions, and 
historic facts. The preacher, whose fanctf is. active and 
excorsive, should labour to secure a well-digested plan, 
ar^unientatively just, and naturally connected. This will 
prevent his running into a wordy, declamatory strain. As 
to mgmonf, there are two sorts, the verbal, and the scientific 

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His prayers were indeed ejctempore. He 
was the farthest froth any appearance of a 
form, as to his words and manner of ex- 
pressioi^ of almost any man, - He was quite 
singular in this, and inimitable by any who. 
have not a spirit of real and undissembled 
devotion ; yet lie always expressed himself 
with decency and propriety. He appeared 
to have much of the grace and spirit of 
prayer ; to pray witli the spirit and with 
.the understanding: and he performed this 
part of duty much to the acceptance and 
edification of those who joined with him. 
He was not wont, in ordinary cases, to be 
long in his prayers: an error which he 
observed was often hurtful ta public and 

or systematic. He who has tbd former may soon preach 
' memoriier;-^sIter writiDg all, or without writing' any. But 
let him erer watch, lest he enter into the temptation of 
plagiary; his quoting, howerer, long passages from the 
holy seriptures, when apposite^ will be always acceptable ; 
and occasionally, when avowed, the words of other 
authors. The scientific memory shoidd guard against too 
much analysis in a sermon, and often choose for the sub- 
ject of discussion historical passages, or any others which 
are best treated in the way of observation : which in time 
will effectually counteract the opposite tendency to ex- 
plain what is clear, and to analyse without profit.—* W. 

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social prayer, as it tends rather tQ damp 
than promote true devotion. 

He kept himself quite free from worldly 
cares ; but gave himself altogether to the 
work of the ministry, and entangled not 
himself with the affairs « of this life. He 
left the particular oversight and direction 
of the temporal concerns of his family^ 
almost entirely to Mrs. Edwards; who was 
better able than most of her sex to take the 
whole eare of them on her hands. He was 
less' acquainted with most of his temporal 
afiairs than many of his neighbours, and 
seldom knew when, and by whom his 
forage for winter was gathered in, or how 
many milch kine he had, or whence bi^' 
table was furnished, &c. 

He did not make it his custom to visit 
his people in their own houses, unless he was 
sent for by the sick; or he heard that 
they were under some special aiSliction. 
instead of visiting from house to house, he , 
used to preach frequently at private meet- 
ings in particular neighbourhoods; and 
often call the young people and children 
to his own hous^, when he used to pray 

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with them, and treat with them in a man- 
ner suited to their years and circumstances ; 
and he catechised the children in pubHc 
every Sabbath in the summer. He used 
sometimes to propose questions to particular 
young persons in writing, to be Answered 
by them after a proper time given for pre* 
paration. In presenting these inquiries, he 
endeavoured to suit them to the age, genius, 
and abilities of those to whom they were 
addressed. His questions were generally 
such as required but a short reply; and yet 
they could not be answered without a par- 
ticular knowledge of some historical part 
jqf the scripture; and therefore led, and 
even obliged persons to study the bible. 

He did not neglect to visit his people 
from house to house because he did not 
look npon it, in ordinary cases, to be one 
part of the work of a gospel-minister ; but 
because he supposed that ministers should, 
with respect to this, consult their own 
talents and circumstances, and visit more or 
less, according to the degree in which they 
could hope thereby to promote the great 
ends of the ministry. He observed, that 

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some had a talent for entertaining and profit* 
ing by occasional visits among their people. 
They have words at will, and a readiness 
at introducing useful religious discoutse in 
a free, natural, and, as it were, undesigned 
way. lie supposed such had a call to 
spend a great deal of their time in visiting 
their people; but he looked on his owa 
taleniis to be quite different. He was not 
able to enter into a free conversation with 
every person he met, and in an easy mani- 
ner turn it to what topic he pleased, with- 
out the help of others^ and, it may be, 
against their inclination. He therefore 
found that his visits of this kind must be in 
a great degree unprofitable. And as be 
was settled in a large* town, it would have 
.token up a great part of his time to visit 
from house to house, which he thought he 
could spend in his study to much more 
valuable purposes, and so better subserve 

. *- Nortlufcinpton migbt be considered as Idr^f^i for Anie- 
rica, but in England would be called a smatl town, in 
point of population ; since even so late as 1790, it did not 
exceed 1628 persons, according to a census then taken* 
Bttt 9U these in a sense were his charge.— W. 

F 5 ^ 

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the great design of his ministry. For it 
appeared to him, that he could do the 
greatest good to souls, and tnost promote 
the interest of Christ, hy preaching and 
Writing, and conversing with persons under 
religious impressions in his study; whither 
he encouraged all siich to repair; where 
they might be sure, in ordinary cases, to 
find him, and to be allowed easy access to 
him ; and where they were treated with all 
desirable tenderness, kindness, and fami^ 

In times, therefore, of the revival of 
religion amoAg his people, his study was 
thronged with persons who came to lay 
open their spiritual, concerns to him, and 
seek his advice and direction. These he 
received with great freedom and pleasure, 
and there he had the best opportunity to 
deal in the most particular manner with 
each one. He was a skilful guide to souls 
under spiritual difficulties; and was there- 
fore applied to, not only by his own people, ' 
but by many wli^o lived at a considerable 
distance. He became such, partly by his 
own experimental acquaintance with divkie 

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things, and unwearied study of God*s word, 
and partly by bis having sa much concern 
with souls under spiritual troubles; &xe he 
had not been settled in the work of the 
nninistry many, years before the Spivit of 
Crod was wonderfully poured out on his 
people, by which a great concern about 
their souls became almost universal, and a 
great number were hopefully the subjects 
of saving conversion. This wa& principally 
in the year 1734; a particular account of 
which has been written by him, entitled, 
A faithful narrative of the surprising work 
ofGody in the conversion of marqi hundred 
souls in Northampton. This has been printed 
in England, Germany, and America; to 
which the reader must be referred. 

There was another very remarkable time 
of the out-pouring of God's Holy Spirit ia 
this part of America, in the years 1740 
and 174U ^^ '^^ which Northampton 
largely partook. Mr. Edwards, at this 
time, had to deal not only with his own 
people, but with multitudes of others. The 
report that the same things had been expci 
rienced at Northampton some year* before^ 

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and Mr. Edwards's fame for knowledge, | 
piety, and great acquaintance with experi- 
mental religion, naturally led both ministers 
and people, from almost all parts of New 
Ungland, to look to him^ for direction and 
assistance, under tliese extraordinary cir- 
cumstances. Being earnestly solicited to 
come and preach among them, he went to 
many; though he was not able to gratify 
all who desired him: and his preaching 
was attended with great success. 
. As many of the ministers and people in 
New England had been u;iacquainted with 
such things, they were greatly exposed to 
run wildy as it were, and (by. the subtle 
temptations of the devil) actually did go 
into great extremes, both as opposers and | 
frieiids to the work of God. Mr. Edwards 
was eminently useful by his direction and 
iasi^<ance in reference to the two opposite - 
extremes, both< in conversation, preachings 
and writing. His publications on this oc- 
tmon were of great and axitensive service; 
especially a sermon preached at NeW'* 
HwtB, Sept. leth, 1741, on The distifh 
gmshing marh (^f a xvtyrk ^f the Spirit 

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God^ — his Thoughts concerning the present 
revival of religion in New' E/fgland, — auA 
his TVeatise on religious affections. All which 
might be justly considered by the church 
ot^Christ as a wise and friendly voice be- 
hind theth, saying. *^ This is the way, walk 
tlierein;** especially the last-mentioned 
Treatise, which is esteemed by many to 
be the best that has been written on the 
subject; setting the distinction between 
true and false religion in the most clear and 
striking light And to the same purpose 
is The Life of the Rev. David Brainerdi 
with reflections and observations; published ' 
by Mr. Edwards in 1749. 

Mr. Edwardsi^aSy what some would call, a 
rigid Cahinist. Those doctrines of Calvinism 
which have 4}een most objected against, and 
given thfe greatest offence, appeared tahini 
Scriptural, reasonable, and important; and he 
tliought th/it to abandon them, was, in ^ect, 
to abatKlon all. He therefore looked upon 
those who, calling themselves Calvinists, 
were for palliating the matter, that they 
might conform it more to the taste of those 
who arc most disposed to object against it, 

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as really giving up and betraying the 
cause they pretended to espouse; ind as 
paving the way not only to Armintanisniy 
but to Deism. For if' these doctrines, in 
the " whole length and breadth" of them, 
be relinquished^ he did not see where an 
individual can rest, with consistency and 
safety, short of Deism, or even Atheism 
itself; or rather, universal Scepticism. — 
He judged that nothing was ^van ting but 
to have these doctrines properfy statedy 
and judiciously defended, in order to their 
appearing most agreeable to reason and 
common' sense, as well as doctrines of reve- 
lation; and that this therefore was the only 
efiectual method to convince, or silence, 
and put to shame, the opposers of theml 
All will be lEible to satisfy themselves of the 
truth of this by reading his works^ and 
especraUy his volumes on The Freedom ef 
the JVM, ind Original Sin. 
' In this view of things, he thought it of 
importance that ministers should be very 
careful in examining candidates for the 
ministry, with respect to their principles^ 
as well as their religious dispositions and 

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morals. Aod on tliis account he met with 
considerable difficulty and opposition, in 
some instances. His opinion was, that an 
erroneous, at unfaithful minister, was likely 
to do more injury than good to the church 
of Christ; and therefore he could not par^- 
ticipate in the introduction of any one to the 
ministry, unless be appeared sound in the 
faithf and manifested, to the judgment of 
charity^ a dupositian to befmthftU. 


His Departure from Northampton^ tdth the Oc' 
canon and Circumstances of it* 

Whatever belongs to man, or more coi«- 
rectly, whatever is properly his own, bears 
the mark of mutability. Mr. Edwardsls 
labours at Northampton were crowned, at 
different periods of his ministry there, with 
signal success. ^ But a root of bitterness 
sprung up, and many Were defiled. The 
transactions contained in this chapter, 
though unpleasant, may aiford, to a serious 
and reflecting mindp much instruction. If 

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that people were more depraved than chris- 
tian churches in coipmon, after enjoying 
for so long a period the stated instructions 
and prayers of so eminent a pastor; how 
great the depravity of human nature, to be 
capable of such ingratitude and such a re- 
verse! Thus it was tvith Ephraim of old; 
" When I would/* saith God, " have healed 
Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim was 
discovered, and the wickedness, or the evils^ 
of Samaria." But if the people in question 
were no more depraved than ourselves, let 
us learn caution, and bew^are of unieasoa- 
able and inordinate attachment to customs 
* — let us contemplate with proper emotions 
the instability of all human affairs, and the 
^Ily and' danger of trusting in man?— let us 
reflect that we depend onGod for the preseiv 
ration of the closest fciendships-^and that 
the best ministers, without the continued sup- 
ply of the Holy Spirit on the minds of their 
people, have no sure interest in< their af** 
fections ; people^ to whom they have beea 
most useful, and who have been long most 
attached to them. — Human nature l^asocca^ 
sionally shewn itself in every age to be the 

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same. After the most extraordinary mani- 
Testation of divine power and goodnesSi 
!^ The whole congregaticHi of the children of 
Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in 
the wilderness/' And after the most awful 
and impressive instructions, the Lord had 
to say to Moses, ^* Go, get thee down; for 
thy people which thou broughtest out of 
the land of Egypt, have corrupted them- 

For many years Mr. Edwards was very 
happy in the love and esteem of his people, 
and there was, during that period, the 
greatest prospect of his living and dying 
so. Indeed, he was almost the hist minister 
in all New England that would have been 
thought likely to be opposed by his people. 
But the event proved how incompetent we 
are to decipher those consequences which 
depend on human volitions. — In the year 
1744, about six years before the final rup- 
ture, Mr. Edwards was informed that some 
young persons in the town who were mem- 
bers of the church, had books ift their pos- 
session which they employed to promote 
lascivious and obscene discourse among 

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114 THE LIFE or 

tlieir companions. Upon inquiry, a number 
of persons testified, that they had heard* 
one and another, from time to time, talk 
obscenely; as what they M-ere led to by 
reading a book or books, whidi they had 
among tliem. Mr. Edwards thotight the 
brethren of the church ought to look into 
the matter ; and in order to introduce it, 
he preached a sermon from Heb. xii. 15, 16. 
" Looking diligently, lest any man foil 
of the grdce of God, lest any root of 
bitterness springing up trouble you, and 
thereby many be defiled; lest thfere- be 
any fornicator, or profane personj as Esau, > 
who for one morsel of meat sold his 
birth-right.'* After sermon, he desired the 
brethren of the church to stay, and told 
them what information he had received; 
and inquired, whether they thought proper 
tQ take any measures to examine into the 
matter. They with one consent, and much 
2eal, stated it to be their opinion, that it 
ought to be^inquired into; and proceeded 
to choose a number of individuals, to assist 
their pastor in investigating the affair. 
Upon which Mr. Edwards appointed the 

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time for their meeting at lus house, and 
then read a list of tlie names of ydung 
persons^ whon) he desired to assemble 
at the same time. Some were the accused, 
and some witnesses; but it was not theii 
declared of which number any particular 
individual was. 

When the naine9 were published, it aph 
peared that there were*but few of the con- 
siderable families in th0 town to which 
sontie of the persons mentioned did not be* 
lon]^, or were not nearly related. Whether 
this was the occasion of tl]« alteratipn or 
noty before the day appointed came, a 
great number of heads of families changed 
their minds, and declared^ that they did 
ndt think prq>er to proceed as they had 
done ; that their children should not be 
called to an account in such a way, &c. 
ThQ town was suddenly all Iq a blaze. 
This strengthened the hands of the ac- 
cused ; some remsed to appear, and others 
who did appear behaved with a great de- 
gree of insolence, and contempt of the 
authority of the church. And little or 
nothing could be done further in the afiain 


116 THE LirE OP 

This was the occasion of weakening Mr. 
Edwards's hands in the work of the mi- 
nistry, especially among the young people, 
with whom by this means he greatly lost 
liis influence. This seemed in a great mea- 
sure to put an end to his usefulness at 
Northampton; it doubtless laid a founds 
tion for the surprising events which will be 
related, and will help to account for them. 
He certainly had no great visible success 
after this ; the influences of God*s Holy 
Spirit were greatly withheld, but security 
and carnality tnuch increased among them.!* 
Tliat singular degree of visible -religion 
and good order which had been among 
them soon began gradually to decay, and 
the youth have since been more wanton 
^nd dissolute. ^ 

Mr. Stoddard, Mn Edwards's grandfather 

* What ain awM waniiof^ to all professon, and especially 
to yeung people ! Behold, hoir great a matter a little fire 
kindleth! Little do the giddy and the gay think how 
their levities operate, and what seeds of distress and sorrow 
•they are sowing for themselves and others. Woe unto yoa 
that Mia langh now, for ye shall mourn and weep!' How 
desirable it should be pewUintiall^ here, and not despair' 
4npiy her^ei:!^W. 

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and predecessor, was of the opinion^ that 
unconverted persons, con^d&ed as such, 
had a right in the sight of God, or by his 
appoint ment, to the sacrament of the Lorci's 
supper; that therefore it was their duty to 
come to that ordinance, though they knew 
they had no true goodness,^ or gospel hoii* 
ness. He maintained, that visible chris* 
tianity does not consist in a profession or 
appearance of that wherein true holiness or 
real Christianity consists: that, therefore, 
the profession which persons make in order 
to be received as visible members of Christ's 
church, ought not to be such as to express 
or imply a real compliance with, or consent 
to the terjns of the covenant of grace, or 
a hearty embracing of the gospel. So that 
they who really reject Jesus Christ, and 
dislike the gospel way of salvation in 
their hearts, and know that this is true of 
themselves, may make the profession with- 
out falsehood and hypocrisy.* He formed a 

* That is, -we apprekend, what they were required io 
prafest wai only MigtAwn and frmiUgt; or, tiiat they were 
bound in daty to conform to the laws of Christ, and eon-* 
sidered it their priTilege to partake of his instituted oidi- 

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short profession for persons to make, in 
order to be admitted into 1^ church, sm* 
sMrerableto this principle; and accordingly 
persons were admitted into the church, and 
to the sacrament, on those terms. Mr. 
Stoddard's principle at first excited great 
attention in the country; and he was op- 
posed as introduchig something contrary 
to the principles and practice of almost all 
the churches in New England: and the 

nances, as means appointed for their everlasting good; 
but not any actual ottainmeTit in religious experience. 
They were not encouraged as eonveried persons, but as 
those who profested the neees^uty of being Sjaved in CUmTs 
own way. In this case, persons would be asked, not 
whether they had actually experienced conversion to God, 
or could give some evidence whereby others nnght infer 
them to be so, bat whether they eonsidered tbemselvesy as 
baptiased persons, bound in duty to obey divine injunctions, 
and regarded an attendance on the ordinances of the gospel, 
a privilege which they wished to enjoy ? Consequently, 
when they ftllowed that they apprehended theniselves tq be 
in An anconverted state, they could not fairly be chargeable 
with either fiilsehood or hypocrisy; for they professed 
BOthtng more than they believed respecting either their 
duty, tbek privilege, or their state.— ^It is, ^erefwe, neither 
omdid nor true to say, as some have done, that thia piin- 
cvgle of the diurch, inenlcated by Mr. Stoddard, taught 
men that they " may be hypocrites without the guilt of 
hypocrisy, and liars withoutsthe imputation of 8iiv'''^W. 

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matter was publicly controverted between 
lum acul Dr. Increase Mather, of Boston, 
However, through Mr. Stoddard's great 
influence over the peq>le at Northatiipton, 
it was introduced there, though not with- 
out opposition ; by degrees it spread very 
much among ministers and people in that 
county, and in other parts of New England. 
Mr. Edwards had some hesitation about 
this matter when he first settled at North- 
ampton, but did not receive such a degree 
of conviction, as to prevent his adopting it 
with a good conscience, for* some years. 
But at length his doubts increased, which 
put him upon examining it thoroughly, by 
searching the scripture, and reading such 
books as were written on the subject. The 
result was a foil conviction that it was 
wrong, and that he could not retain the 
practice with a good conscience. He was 
fully convinced, that to be a wsibte chris^ 
iian was to put on the visibility or appear- 
ance of a real christian j that the profession 
of Christianity was a profession . of that 
wherein real Christianity consists; and 
therefore, that no person who rejected 

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Christ in his heart, could make such a pro* 
fession consistently with truth. And as the 
ordinance of the Lord's supper was insti« 
tuted for none but visible professing chris- 
tians, none but those who are real chris* 
tians have a right in the sight of God 
to come to that ordinance: and conse- 
quently, that none ought to be admitted 
tlieretOy who do not make a profession of 
real Christianity, and so be received in a 
judgment of charity as true friends to Jesus 

* Tb«y who have a desire more fally to undergiand tbii 
controversy, may do it by reading what Mr. Edwards wrote 
on the occasion, in order to explain and vindici|te bis 
principles ; together with the Rev. Solomon Williams's 
answer, and Mr. Edwards's reply to him. 

'His important subject is so ably discussed by Dr. 
Williams, in a note appended to the last-mentioned publi- 
cation, that the editor cannot refrain from inserting it 

** Much of this controversy, which was agitated with great 
warmth in the American churches, and which is not unfre* 
qnently started among congregational churches in Great ! 
Britain, seems to originate in the want of clearly stating the i 
teriptural design of entering into full communion. If this 
be not previously settled, there is but little hope of a satis- i 
bctoiry s4|ustm^nt Without entering here into the, 
mtntrfici of proofs, the following particulars are submitted , 
to the reader's consideration, as probably calculated t^ 
aid his inquiries* 

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When . Mt. Edwards's < sentiments were 
known, (in the spring of the year 1744,) it 

' "•!. The chief -end of every human sopiety, as well as of 
jBvery iatelligept being, ought to be thls^ viz. To glorify 
God, or to represent him as yhrioia in all his .perfeetions 
and ways. No human society, of whatevw kind, ia 
^empt from this obligation. For a society is only aa 
aggregate, of individuals ;[ and as ev«ry individus^ is obliged 
to dp this in all hia actions, he is tlierefore thus -obliged ia 
i^is soctW capacity. This obligation .arises from 4he ■ r^ 
tpective nmtyres of God and the creature, and it is clearly 
enjoined in the holy scriptures. * Whatsoever ye do, do all 
to the glory of God.'— But, 

** 2. The distinguishing suhordituUe end or special desigm 
of any sociefy, must designate .its /7«eu/Mr imiure^ whereby 
it is best adapted to promote that end^.^Thdugh every 
(lociety is boond to seek the one chief end, yet every social 
tmion^ia not adapted to ansM^ all social ends. Societies 
of a religious, moral, charitable, scientific, or pc^rticai 
design, mast have members of a corresponding character, 
otherwise the proposed end cannot be answered. The 
fsalifioetioQS of the members must have an mptUuie to 
promote 'the design. 

'' d. The -distinguishing design of a society denonnnate^ 
a-(A«rcA, evidently is to promote religion. Numbers are 
uiuted by divine appointment, to maxifitain religion— *te 
^ exhibit before the woiid real Cbristianity<^to 'oneourago 
those who seek the right way-rto edify oiie Another — and 
ISbt like. Such particulars we gather from the saered 
scriptures. * Striving together for the faith of the gojq[>cl.'— 
* That ye may be blameless and harmless, the^sons of God 
(resembling him) without rebuke (or, cause of rebuke) in 
the midst of a crooked and perverse nation; among whoni 


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gav« great offence, and tlie town was pu' 
into a great ferment; and before he wks 

>e ihide as lights in the world, holding forth tlie word of 
ttfa'-^A charch of Christ is appoioted to shine In a dark 
world, to be blameless and harmless among the. eraoft€d 
and penrcirse, to imifate God, as ihr as practicable, white 
mmottg the children of the wicked one, to gire no oAbnptf 
to those who are without ot those Who are within (il# 
^nrch, to hold ftnrth, and hold fast, the wdrd of life, if 
doctrine, by discipline, and by practice. 'Him'lhkt Is 
weak in the feith receive yha, but not to donbtfhl iSt^tHtfii- 
iiens.' Provided a person be deshrons of Chrhtlkn inillbw- 
•hip, and is possessed of so mnch knowledge, so miiclk 
•xpeneaeed efficacy of trttth, and so much goojl' Conduct, 
ns is caicnlated to answer, in a prevailing degree, the design 
<9f a charch being af all formed, let him not be rejected. 
* Wherefore comfbrt yonraielves togetbisr, aind ^dity on^ 
mnother, even as also ye do!' This is done by nsdtnat 
fnsinelious, exhortations, prayers, and praises ; by watch- 
ful discipline, and the exercise of reiigiods gifts ;^Mettd1y 
offices, and acts of Christian kindness. 

'* 4. The preceding particulars are prbdaced'b^^ fn- 
tUineet; but in order accurately to ascertain the S)>ecfilt 
Mid of Christikn fUInwsMp, In Ml cottramnidm, ak the 
fwsssgeli cbiKtained in^he Niew Testament lieUtihgio tfalK 
•ttbjeot ought to be included. Fbr until O^ r«v^l<^ spe- 
eial design for irhich a cbur6h of Christ i^ Ittstfttfted be 
ascertained, it is obviously fM t^ossible to Hsctftrtaiil flit 
precise nature of the society, and c^si^ently the^^afffi* 
cations of its members. Howevef, 

** 5. We win suppose that, by an tfppebf tb ilflh^ pas- 
aages of the New Testament, th^ precise B^s^n is kmi^ ; 
AKwa whence the naHars of « ehnrch hi dedneed t 'Wt l(d<^ 


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PREsmeiir zowMnys. IIS 

keafd m bi& own d^fencei or it wu i]nda»* 
itood by many what Us principles were^idis 

I to zeten»» it liiBre«jQ J ^Mmcna^yldlrt^ form m 

bKumkU stondard by which ail ipMiliiotioni of cMi4i» 
^tei mmy be moMiired! llieM OAdoidbtedljr m, far timi 
. |l«w MdiiMn, beofUMe « eliwfchk n MDietjr imtilateil fot 
9*^ «tHi^ mKeaM in tiie^ New Tettonent. Now m 
tkCM OHb «DB Mbtter of .4iTiM rmard.%md not of Immmii 

Mbtter of .4iTin« r«rQnf,«ad not of hnmMI 

"e. We will tother MqpfOfle, tbattfae^MetW mOb, by 
Wiaoh to.BMearareifnalifioatioM for fiill -tttmihijoii is, TU 
foV^uM^Smjfii/imwMcku gw^ tktarck mJmUmmKmmim 
UHmmiy imtOutML No j^w^lMnrever Ibey nmy difi«t 
•bMtxitiMr tbiiogs, qaol ioiyeet to tbis ml^, witii any eolow 
of reason. To deny its cbum, they nrnst eitb^f sqb^reil 
the elntast :4»nn€iples of all Tobmtary soeieties, or else 
M^ tbst a<Cbri9^ tsbuMji is Aot iasliteled m tbe New 
^Mmama^ ibr -any vpeoiGc Mt^ fint this no raaseneble 
persoi^ miieh less a Beneus vCbaisUki^ wiU. Tifiinlaiir, 
Heno^ - 

**7* Tktme eandidates for .fall oQmniiinkHiy ead eafy 
^KMbe, wbo «re coBfovqwd ia tkk ruk^ are fully ^alified. 
fiot b^re It is of essential impertance to ^bserve^ that 
though « Mslv Is, and trom Its^tery natare nmst be, fixed 
Md iimwiable, the qaalificatioBS of individnals <are variable 
Migs» lidtBittinif ef more or less oonfocmity to it The 
fii^i^llitee <^ men, however ingenieos and plwisible,.€an* 
not be admitted as a nt/e, becanse they are vwriahiti but 
^ 'n^ must be dedoced from the dniffn itself of instil 
^itmg a obtircb, which i»«vid^tly a matter of pnrediyine 
pleasure, and whkh could not be known without a revela- 
tion from €rod« A ruh^ then, must be sought from the 
^^credeirucles by in induotionof paHmtes tolalijig to tfae 

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tf4 THE.XIFE or ^ 

'^neml cry was to' have him dismissed, al^ 
wba^t alone would satisfy them. This wa^ 

pfn^A in qptestioDy and fittm their harmomons agreement ;| 
audit is the business of every Christian church, minigter 
and member, to search the scriptures in order to ascertain 
ft. To contend about qualifieationi, before this is agreed 
<^>on, ii^ to contend about the dimensions of different tfaiogi^ 
before a standard is. fixed upon by which to measnre tiiem« 
£ut the constituent parts of the qualiications in candi* 
4ate9, cannot be found in scripture; they must, most ^tI- 
dently, be sought in the ekaracters of the individuals, 
which are indefinitely variable. To suppose that the cha^ 
taoter,'o«( the aettMlattminmentofesLch candidate, iar revealed 
in scriptflre^ Is too absurd to he maintaiued by any rational 
tntnd. Tbeifefdrc, 

'* 8. What remains for a church to do in ju^^tng'of 
qualifieationSf is to compare the proficiency of the candn 
date with the sbripturlil rule. The former, admitting of 
indefinita degrees of approximation to tlie standard^ must 
be learnt from the person himself, from his conduct and 
from the testimony iOf others. < His profession, his declared 
experiei^e uf divine truth, bis deportment in society, in j 
short « bi^^neral character, is to be viewed, in comparisoa 
with ttie. evident design of Ckid in forming ai church. 

*^9^. Should it be objected, that different persons,' or 
cbiirches, might .fix on a different standard, iby adding m^t 
texts of isofiptiMre out of which ^a various general result 
would arise; it is answered,\hat therefore thi^'Is^hepQiot 
to be .first settled. When any disagree about tbe,.rule, 
they cannot of course agree about the quaUfications. 
There are many texts, however, such as those, 9^q\^ 
produced, concerning which tliiere can be no disagreement 
ITbe €ule therefore should be admitted, us far at U^pes* ^ 

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evident from the whole tenor of their c«ii- 
duct, as they neglected and opposed^ the 

veasttre of a foot long may, as far as it goes, hk n sfandsrfl 
of straightDeiis and of measure, as well as a yard or a fathom. 
Or, to change the comparison, a small measure of capacitBf 
may be equally accurate, to a certain degree, as a larger 
measure. Let the church of small attainments atet eha<* 
ritably, and wait for brighter evidenee. If any lack'wis** 
dom, let them ask of God, who giveth liberally. ' ' JLet as, 
ihereforie, a» miany as be perfect, be thus minded ; and if 
(n any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shaU rbTcal eiren 
this unto you. Nevertheless, whtreto rve have alreoify 
aUtunedf let us Walk by the same rule, let us flbind'tliB 
same thing.' • ^ 

'! 10. The scriptural rule is not only invariablie, but «]«0 
JpcHect in its^ kind, as dictated by ih'finite' wisdom for the 
noblest ends. But no human character, in the prtofteilt 
itate, is perfect, so as to comport universally with' Hfa 
standard. Therefore no candidate for communioii' Is per- 
fectly qualified ; that is, his qualifications are dnty compa- 
i^tive. One may be qualified in a g^«atcr, and another In 
& smaller degree. One is qualified to fill his place tniir 
liently, another moderately well. One may be strong, and 
another weak in the faith. Yet he who is weak in tRe 
&ith may be comparatively qdalified. Therefore, ' * 

" U. Since qualifications are so various,' and admit of 
.indefinite approximations to the perfect standard, or devih- 
tions from it, we are bound to accede to another i5oriclu- . 
■ioD, viz. Tliat whatever kind or degree of qnalifieation 
Wears to befriend, rather thanj to oppose, to honour^ 
'ather.tiian te discredit the- scriptural design of full colh- 
IQanion,. ought to be admitted by the church. When a 
tttididate for eoninitiiian » pfopoted to 4 c%urcb> its 

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most proper means of cahnly consideribg, 
and so understanding the matter in dispute, 

ImlBedkte biisiiicss ii to consvlt' ih» wcripittM' ^^^tAgn «tf 
eomnmitmi ; aiid tiien to consider bow for tl^ qoalrf- 
estMHMi oi^» diad«Mi0 appear to befriend MMi to bo- 
now it. . 

** 1% Vwmihe preansas, it folloin, tbat to reiiio» ^tom 
.qbAliioctMNM for .^oniiBmiiion in tiio Jtwiib cbarob^ 4o 
tbooe for fttM cottttnimioii in a gospel cbiffoh^ mittt HOeds 
be. nmSertaiii and inooDeliisiT« ; exoept it oonld bo fii^ 
•jpnffbA^ tbttt.tii6 revved design of eadr was tbe samo* 
Bntlt.reqnires no ipreat labofff to tkeWy by an indfiotioil 4i 
IttrfieBlirSy tbat tbe design was yery different; and oonso^ 
qaently, tbat wbat would be a suitable qualifioation for ^ie 
wttty would not be so for tbe otbcr. 

'< 18. We iMiy fnftber infer, tbal when a^bweb foqulNs 
' % probable evidence of graee as tbe measoaring ml« Of 
arfmissiim, and directs nearly all its attention to aacortaiR 
ibis poittt^ its proceedittgB are irregular, unscriptaral; and 
Ibeuforo unwarrantable. Tbe rule of judging^ as bofoM 
Aewtt, nnst be fomid m iht seripture, and not in tbe can- 

** 14. Wo may farther Ittf^ from the precediag obaorfa- 
tlons, tbat/a prohahUt mdenet tf $rat€ in a oandMarte^ls 
not the. precifc grouitd .of the qoaliieatioii, hammer 4h 
9irM$ tbat eyidfeaoemay be. 'Yet, because ordinariljr, and 
most probably* the absence of saving grace inplim tbe 
absence of the precise ground of answerabienoss to dw 
scriptural design of lull communion, such probable efi- 
denee is of jgreat iroportaooe. However moe this distiae- 
tien may appear «» soake^ tbo want' of altcHdiiig to it 
seom$ to have constttutod tbe obief diffeaence botwoen our 
author and his bntaioaistfc AAd^ im fiur uifestigalioa» 

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^ persisted in a refusal to s^ttend to what 
Mr, Edwards had to say in defence of his 

V)aUi9r qocwtioil, difierenl from wbat was agitated, onglil 
to have been first settled, tIz. Whether any person, wh^ is 
not miUy the subject of saviog grace, can ' befriead, 
latho' than oi^se, can hoHour, rather than discredit the 
leriptiiral design of .full communioBf Fairly to answer 
litis qoeation in the negative, it is not eaongh to prove, 
llutt aooh a person cannot fulfy atwiw the scriptun^ 
deiigflk Bui it ought to be proved, that no person desti- 
ttttii qf flueh'probable evidence of saving grace, in any w» 
dUBsfanees whatever, can be found, who might befriend 
and honimr the soriplural design of communion, rather 
tlMUi tke eiM^ary. This is the real hinge of the oon* 

*' 16. It Is an unseriptural notion, loo much taken upon 
fr«st,Uiat the hnn^'^^ate business of a ehoroh, is to form 
aa opiuon req>ectii.^ the spiritual state of a person before 
Qed; as, whether be ia the subject <»f saving grace— whe- 
therhe has a principle of sincerity— whether his motives 
am spiritoaily pure, &c. Whereas, a church ought not to 
act the part of a jury on the candidate's real state towards 
6W, but en^his state towards the church. They are to 
determine, whether he is, or is not eligible to answer the 
scriptural ends of sueh a society, and indeed of that par- 
ticular choreh. For, as the circumstances of divers 
churches may be very different, there may- be eases, 
vhere the same person may be eligible to one church, and 
net to lOiother. In one chureh Jie may fromfiU its welfare, 
in anolher Under it This may greaUy depend on hia 
peouliar tenete, and tiie seal with which he may be dis^ 
posed to aMkitaia tiiem. Ip one eociety he m^y be a 



principles. From beginning to end, ihey 
opposed the measures which had the best 

source of disquiet and confasion) but in another the 

^ 16. Hence it is evident^ that a Tisibilit}' of saving- 
grac^y though it claims the Christian love and respect of 
the church, does not, in all cases, constitute eligible qnaiifi-* 
cations. For, whatever has an evident tendency tppro-^ 
duce disputes, auimosities, and diviaions in. a ohurcfa^' 
ought to be kept out of it But the admission of a pcpnoii' 
who appeared ssealous for sentiipents ;and onstoms Qppo<- 
site to those held by the church, would have this apparent 
tendency, notwitbWanding his possessing a visibi^ty of 
grace, on other accounts. Tlierefore, though a visibilii;-: 
of grac^, in some cases, may be su£Sclently plain, yet mn. 
' apparent failure in other respei^ts may be sufficient to abew 
tjiat a person is not qualified for fall comqiamofi. lik 
short, if the church have good reason to think, tbatt, his. 
admission would do more harm than good, he' should be- 
deemed unqualified for membership in that sooiety, though, 
he may be len titled to a charitable opinion, or even CJ^ris^ 
tian love, on other aecounts : and, on the cositrary, if the 
Qhurcb have good reason to think, that .bi^ adoiissioii, 
would do more good than harm, he should be deemed fwh> 
lifted for membership — even though he may be less entitled, 
to a charitable opinion of his state towards God^ than th» 


^' 1. Any candidate who appears, in the cbadtable judg« 
ment of a Christian church, likely to give a favourable 
representation of Christianity to- the church and the worhlr;^^ 
to encourage the desirous, by his knowledge and tempos . 



tendency to comprdmise and heal the^diffit 
culty; and with much zeal pursued thosa 

,— ^apd to give and receive Christian edification in that conv^ 
manioa — is, in the scripture sense, qualified for full com- 
munion; ' , 

' ** ^ Personal religion, in tbe sigbt of God, i» to b« 
deemed necessary onJy for the sakS: of enabling fliQ oandir 
date io answer such ends,T~as far as membership \^ con- 
cerned ; but, as final salvation is conceined, personal reH- 
Ifion is indispensably necessary, this connection .being . 
clearly revealed, ^s well as founded in the nature of things. 

'* 3. A Christian minister may consistently exercise holy 
jealousy over some ehurcb members, and warn them' tff 
the danger of hypocrisy, without threatening them; with 
exclusion from, their membership; because only, their 
overt-acts (including sentiments, tempers, aijd couduct).are 
tilie object of discipline, as they were of admission. 

'' 4. Some persons, though in a safe state toward^ Goffy 
may not an;swer the forementioned ends of membershi|^, 
better than others who are not in such a state. 

** 6i A persoh may be qualified for the society of heaven, 
tffaile not qualified for fnli . commnnion in a Chnstjan 
church ; because the natures lof the two societies.are dif- 
ferent, and consequently the scriptural ends of their admis- 
sion into each. For infants or idiots, &e. may be qualified 
by grace for the society of heaven ; but: are tofafly unqua- 
lified for full communion in the church on earth. ; ^ 

" 6. Were Christian churches to act always on 'these 
principles, much bitter strife and useless discussions woYild 
■be- avoided, in the admission and exclusion of members. 
For, in neither the one nor the other would the church 
prononnoe oij the state of the persons tdwards God ; fbr ' 
when any were admitted, no handle wpald be' afibrdcd^to ' 

G 5 

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ISO As Li» or 

which wete dalcuiated to make a sepamtiott 
certain and speedy. Mn Edwarda thought 
of preaching on the subject^ that they might 
kuoMT what were his sentijjients, and the 
grounds of them, (of both which he was 
itoiible that most of them Were quite igno* ! 
Tant,) before they took any. step towards , 
a separation. But that he might do nothing 
to incrrase the tumult, he first proposed 
it to the churches standing committee; 
supposing that if he entered on the sub- 
ject publicly with their consent, it would 
prevent the ill consequences which other- 
wise he feared would follow. But most 
of them strenuously opposed it. Upon 
which he abstained from it for the present, 
as what in such circumstances would rather 
blow up the fire to a greater height, than 
answer the good ends proposed. 

tb9 preswt^tiQQ, tliat membersbu) below is a ^uali^catkm 
fcr heaven-^and wkeo aoy were HKCluded, no ^^coastopi 
would be^yea to the excoaunnnioated persoo, or to the 
world» to pass the censure of ancharitableaess on the 
ehnrcb; for every voUintaiy society has. a right to jodee, 
accordini^ te its own appropriate rales, who is» and who is 
not qualified to promote its welfare.'^— 'W,— -^nSdwordi'^ 
Werifai^ vol. Tii. p« 399— 341^ 

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Mr. £^var<ls was i^miblc tliat his priA- 
\:OpH^ were not understood, but misVepre- 
^vented through the country; and fiudmg 
that hi^ people were then too warm caknly 
to attend to the matter in controveray, he 
pnopos^d to print what he had to offcir on 
th(^ point; as this seemed to be the^wjiy 
way left him to have a fair hearing. Ac- 
cordingly his people consented to put off 
calling a council, till what he should write 
was published. But they manifested great 
uneasiness 'm waiting, before it came put 
of the press ; and when it was published, 
it was read but by very few of them. Mr. 
Edwards being sensible of this, renewed hi9 
proposal to preach upon it, and at a meeting 
.of tlie brethren of the church asked their 
consent in the following terms :. " I desir^ 
that the brethren would manifest tlieir 
consent, that I should declare the reasons 
of my opinion relating to full communion 
in the church, in lectures appointed for 
that end ; not as ai\ act of authority, gr as 
patting the power of declaring the whole 
counsel of God out of my hands; but for 
peace' sake, and to prevent occasion of 

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134 TH£ LIFE OF 

Strife." This was answered in the negative* 
Hie tKen proposed that it should be put to 
a few of the neighbouring minister, whether 
it was not, all things considered, reason-^^ 
able that he should be heard in this matter 
from the pulpit, before the affair should be 
brought to an issue. But this also passed 
in the negative. 

However, having had the advice of the 
ministers and messengers of the neigh- 
bouring churches, who met at Northamp- 
ton to advise them under their difficulties, 
he proceeded to appoint a lecture, in order 
to preach on the subject, proposing to do 
50 weekly till he had finished what he had 
to say. On Monday there wds a society 
meeting, in which a vote was passed to 
choose a committee to go to Mr. Edwards, 
tod desire him not to preach lectures on 
the subject in controversy,* according to 
his declaration and appointment : in conse- 
quence, a committee of three, chosen ft>r 
this purpose, waited on him. However, 
^r. Edwards thought proper to proceed 
agreeably to his proposal, and accordingly 
preached a number of sermons, till he 

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bad ikiished what h^ had to state on the 
' subject. These lectures were very thinly 
I attended by his own people ; but great 
i DCimbers of strangers from tlie neighbour- 
I ing towns attended them, so ihany as to 
make above half the congregation. Thi* 
was in February and March, 1750. 
j The calling of a decisive council to de»- 
[ termiAe the matter of difference was now 
m^re particularly attended to on both sidea , 
Mn Edwards had before this insisted, fioom 
time to time, thart they were by no means 
ripe for such a procedure; as they had hot 
yet given him a fair hearing whereby 
perhaps the need of such a council would 
be superseded. He observed^ " That it 
Was exceedingly unbecoming to manage 
religious affairs of the greatest impoj^taiice 
in a ferment and tumult^ whichought to be 
managed with great solemnity^ deep humi- 
liation, submission to the awful frowns of 
heaven, humble dependence on God, with 
ferVeiit prayer and supplication to him : 
That tl^refore foff them to go about such 
an afl&iir as they tiid, would be greatly 
to the dishonour of God and religipn : a 

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184 run LWE OF • \ 

way in which a people caimot diiipddt. a 
blessing.'* Thus having us^d alt mp^ns to 
bring them to a calm and qharitabte tmur 
per without effect, he congented that a der 
cisive council should be called withaut any 
further delay. 

But a difliculty attended the chqice of a 
council) which was fi>r ^ome time insuper- 
able. It was agreed, that the mi^mber^ 
ahodd be mutually etected, one half by the 
pastor, and the other half by tli^ church : 
but the people insisted upon it, that Mr. 
Edw^^s should be confined to the county 
ijot his cli^ice. He thought tki$ an ui^ 
reasonable restiaint upou him, as it wa3 
knowta that the ministers and churicfaes in 
that county almost universally differed from 
him in the controversy. He indeed did not 
suppose that the business of the proposed 
council would be to determioe whether 
his opinion was riglit or not; but whether 
any possible way could be devised for an 
accommodation between pastor and people, 
and to use their wisdom and endeavours 
in order to effect it ; aiid if they found this 
impracticable^ to decla»| whether what 

d by Google 

oogiit in justice to be done had already 
actually been attempted, so tliat there wa« 
QotJiing further to l^ demanded by either 
of the parties concernedi before a separai- 
tion should take place. And if he was 
dismissed, it would be incumbent upom 
them to state publicly in what manner and 
for what cause he was dismissed ; all which . 
were matters of great impoitance to him, 
and required upright and impartial judges. 
Now considering the great influence a dif* 
feresice in religious opinions has on preja- 
^ce, and the close connection of the poiat 
ixx which most of the ministers and church^a 
in the county differed from him, with the 
matter to be decided, he did not think they 
could be reasonably looked upon as judges 
so impartial, that the matter ought to be 
wholly left to them* fiesidqs, he thought 
^ the case, being so new and ' extraordinary, 
required the ablest judges in tlie land. For 
these reasons, avd some others which he 
offered, he insisted upon liberty to go out of 
d^ county, for those members of the pro* 
posed cpuncil iq which he was to have a 
clK>ice. The pe9f>le stremioiasly and obsti- 

d by Google 

156 THE LIFE 6r 

natcly opposing him in ;^his, they at length 
agreed to tea ve the matter to 'an assemfbly; 
consistifrg of the ministers and messengers 
of the five neighbouring chuTches; who^ 
after they had met twice upon it, and heard 
the case largely debated before them, were 
equally divided^ and therefore left the matter 

* However, they were all agreed, that 
Mr. Edwards, ought to have liberty to go 
out of the county for^awe of the council, 
And at the next chuixrh meeting, (on the 
26th of March,y Mr. Edwards offered to 
unite, with them, if ^^^J. '^'ould consent 
that he should choose two of the churches 
out of the county, in case the council 
consiljted of But ten churches. The church," 
however, at several successive meetings 
refused to comply with this; and pro- 
ceeded' to call a church meeting and 
choose a moderator, in order to act with- 
out their pastor, — But, to pass by many 
particulars, at length, 2tt a meeting of the 
churchy convened by their pastor. May 3d, 
they voted their consent to bis pro|)Osal of 
going out of the county for two of thie 

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ohurcbes> t^at should be applied to. . Hiey 
then f>roc€eded to make choice of the teif 
fiihiistei-s and diwches, of which the assem- 
bly should consist. Aocorditigly the churches 
were applied tcr, and the council was coii^ 
vened ' on the 19th (if June. After they( 
had made some fruitless attenipts* at an: 
agreement betweeh the pastor arid the? 
churchy they passed a resolution^ by a ma-i 
jority of 'one voice^^ only, to tfae foltowin^ 
purpose: "That it is cxpiedietit that the 
pastoral relation betWeetf Mr. Edwalds and 
his church be immediately dissolved, if the 
people' still ptersist'in desif ing it." And i€ 
being publicly put to the people, whether 
they still insisted on Mr. £dwaidsV dis* 
mission from the pastoral offi^>overthefli; 
i^ great> majority (above two hundred>^agaiiist 

. • One. of the olmTciiea which Mr* Edwards ohos« di4 

not see ^i to join the cpunciU However, the minister 
of that church being at Northampton, was desired by 
Mr. Edwards and the church, to sit in eoancil and act^ 
ItUqIi hedid« B«t.therct, being no qtc^eagcr ftiom \h^ 
church, the council was not fuil^ and there was a disparity j 
by which means there was one f ote more fo^ an immo- 
iBato (UsBiisaHm tham^fdnst'itt ' - ' '^ 

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159 T»» un QJ 

twenty) voted in the aSrmatiye^ 9xAim 
wa» accordiagly diwjiiw^d, June 88, 17SQ* 

Tke^memtmg part of th« coancil entered 
^ir protepi against thi$ proct^edoigt judg* 
Log: that it was too hasty, con^ftesring th« 
paat conduct and present tQn)j>er of th^ 
people. And some Qf that part of the 
coijncil who were fpr the. separf^tion^ exr 
pressed, then^selves $nrpri3ed aty the un*- 
•oQiaion zeal manifested by the people, m 
their voting for a distniision; wh^ob evju^- 
eed to them,, and ail observii)^ spectatara^ 
that they were far from a temper of miiid 
fescQfiiing such ia Mdeam mi mM timkr 
aetipn, fcgarded in all ita cireumtitaiac^ii 
. Being thuadisimi$sed,Mr.£dwardspreached 
hi^^ fmiwell sermon on the 1st of July, from 
S Cor. i, 14. M aho jfc Mve [ocknmM^^d. 
us inpart, that we are your rejokingy eoen 
MB ye also are otirs, in the day of the Lord 
Jes\(s. The doctrine he observed from the 
words was this : " Miiiisters, and the people 
ttmt have been under their care, must meet 
one another before Christ's tribunal, at the 
day of judgment." It wa*. a E«»ai:kabjy 

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wlet&n and I'dfii^cttitg di9ik>(irse, stud wm 
publtshed at tbe dcaire of .some of tl^ 
heiftrers.-~NAfterMr. Edv^ards was diraussed/ 
be preached at Narthamptoo occasionaUy, 
mbm^ tb^re^^s no otlier preacher to .^up? 
jsijrtbe pulpii^till at Jength a gp'eat un^ 
ea^oe&s was manifested hy many of t^ 
pec^l^ at hit preaching there, at all Upon 
which, tbe o^vomitt^ foii! f^pplyiog tho 
polpit, called, the town together, to know 
liwir mindfi with reepect to tibat matter; 
wfaen they voted, thit it wae not agreeable 
that be should preach amoi^ them. Ac- 
cordingly, while Mr« Edwards wjas m Um 
town, and tjbey Had no other, minister t^ 
preach to thrao, they carried on public 
worship among themselves, and without 
any preaching, rather than invite him. 

Ev^ry one must be sensible that this was 
« great trial to Mr. Edwards. He had been 
nearly twenty •four years among that people; 
and his labours had been, to all appearance, 
iFlH>m time to time greatly blessed among 
them: and a great number looked on. him 
as their spiritual father, who had been the 
happy instrument of turning them frotn 

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^40 TH* tIFE OT ^ 

darkness, to light, 'and plucking them as 
brands out of the burning.* They had re- 
peatedly professed that they looked irpon 
it as otie of their greatest privileges to have 
such a' minister,, and manifested their great 
love and esteem for him, to such a degree, 
ftat, (as St. Paul says of the Galatians,) 
** if it had been possible, they would have 
plucked out their own eyes and given thena 
t&"hiin;'*' They had a great interest in M^ 
aflfection: he hid bo^ne' them on his heart; 
ftnd cafrried them in his bosom ibr many 
years; exi^rcising a tender concern and 
love 'for them; for their benefit he was alv 
'#ays writing, contriving, labouring; fo,r 
themjhe had poured out ten thousand fer« 
Vent prajfers; in their good he had rejoiced 
as one tha^t iindeth great ispoit; and they 
were dear to him above any other people 
under heaven.~Now to liave this peeple 
turn against him, and force liim. out frdiu 
among them, sto|>ping. their ears, and run- 
ning upon hin) with: furious,zeal, not.aUo^ 
ing him to defend himself by giving: him a 
-fair hearing, and even refusing so much as 
-to hear him preach; many of thena. sue- 

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using . and publicly .spes^iog, jsiany evii 
tiiiogn.aS' to bis ends and designsr-surely Jibt& 
must bave. deeply affected him, and strox^ly 
tried bis spirit. The words of tbf psalmist 
seem applicable to this case: ^' it. was not 
an.ei^my that reproached r me, then I could 
have born^ it; neither wasi it he jtha.t halted 
me, that did magnify bi9iself against me, 
then I would have hid myself from hiou. 
But it was THOU— my guide, and* 
quaiQtance. We took swe.€^t counsel to- 
gether, and talked unto .the house, of. God 
^company." . ^ 

L^t us .therefore no|v behold the m^nf-r; 
Th€|<c^lm sed^teijiess of his mind; his meek? 
1)^66 a^d.hiiniility, vender great and violent 
9p^sition, and . inji^rious treatrnent; his 
fe^oiutipn and steady conduct through all 
this dark and terrible stornp, were^ : truly 
AVpivlerfgJ, and cannot be set in- so bea^itir 
ful jand affecting a light', by any. di^scripti(nv 
as they appeared in to his friends, w^ werf 

. ;Mi:. Edwaids had a riumero^us and ex- 
gf9^ve family, and little, or no incom^ 
ex^clusiye of his salary: and, considering 

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143 TitB LxrE 09 

how far tie wblb tdvan^eect in ^mit; tlM 
general disposition .of people ^nrho ^mint « 
minister to prefer ft young mati wlio km 
never been settled, t6 one ^bo has bom 
dismissed from his people;; attd ¥^blA 'fitti» 
representations were made of his pirindh 
pies throagh the country; it appeared to 
him not at all probab^ that he should 
erer have opportunity to be -settled agMn 
in the work of the ministry, if he was dis^ 
missed from Northampton: and hewM«6it 
inclined, or able to take any 6ihiiT course/ 
or go into any other business to obtain a 
tivelthood; so that beggary, as well as dis* 
grace^ stared him full in the face, if b^ 
adhered to his principles. When he WU 
fixed in his principles, and before they 
were publicly known, he told some of h^ 
friends, that if he discovered and persisted 
In them, it would most likely issue m his 
Amission atid disgrace; ^d the ruin df 
himself and lamiiy, as to their tempcrd 
interests. He therefore first sat down and 
counted the cost, and deliberately took up 
the cross, when it was set before him in iti 
foil weight and magnitude; and in direct 

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dppd^on to all m¥Utif views and motivw. 
This, coddtict' in these circumstancesi, was, 
Aerefibre, a remarkable >«x«rcito atid dis- 
covery of his conscientibuftneftst ; and JWs 
mdineBs to deny himself, and forsake all 
Ifca* h* had, to follow Christ-^A man 
«iist^ hai!« a consid^mbte degree of the 
^it ©fa mattyr, to go on with the sfed* 
lllstMSsand iwoflulion with which he did. 
Hfe V^fttttrfed whtertver truth and duty ap- 
pff^red Vf fead iitm, unmoved lat the threat- 
Ming' da«»geM oti every side. 

However, God did not forsake him. As 
he' giave him those inwatd ^pports by 
which he was bble in patie»e^ to possess 
his sotif, Kttd cotrrageously Tdw oh in ihe 
WOttti, in the face of hoisterdus winds beat* 
i#g ha¥d upon him, and in the nvidst of 
^toiiig waves threatening to iswtftlow him 
up; so he soon appeated for htm in his 
P>e^f*etic6, 6Vcn b*yoikl all his' expedta- 
tJOftSi His>correspondeifts; and 6(]ierfiten^^ 
m Reoffend, llearing of his di^mis^fkm, alid 
*l»hig it might ^fe th« tiheaili^tif hringilig 
fci^ iittb worldly straits, genter^ii^ly eOn*ri^ 
biWttU<^6ttsidcraiMe Slim, and sentitovertA 

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h.iin.-^Aiid GmA did not leave thiol witlxnit 
tender valuable friends at.NortbamptoQ. 
For a small number of his |)W|d^'vd»]i hald 
op|>06ed hia dismiission from the begirrung^ 
arid some who had acted wl fteitfaer sidi; 
but after his d^mUsion adhered W Uum 
under the influence, qf their great estetfm 
and Ipyefor Mr* Edwards, were wiUin^ 
and thought themselves. alile to maiotaift 
him: and insisted upou it that it was hjl 
duty to stay among them, as a distinct and 
separate congregation from the body of tilt 
tpwn, who had rejected him. 

Mn Edward^ could not see it toibe his duty 
to continue at Northampton, aS: this would 
probably have been a means of perpetuating 
mx unhappy div^ioi^ in the txjiwn; and ther« 
appeared to him no projs(pject of doing tJhe 
good there^ which would cbunt^i-balance^li^ 
cviK However, that he might do all in 
his power to satisfy his tender and a.g|iate4 
A*ieads, he consented to ask the ^ vice of 
aa ecclesiastical :<0)incii Accordingly, a 
council was called, and met at Northamp 
ton on the 15th of May, 1751. — The tovn 
' on this occasion was tbi^own into a great 

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tamutt. TThey who were active in'Mf;iEd^ 
wmlft'^s '^ism^ion supposed,, thougb ^mMbr^ 
Qdt/ady{gpcad reasdn^ timtlte was x^oixtttving; 
witii llib fviends^a^a&n to introdaoe. biotselfj 
Iliey ciR|i/v'r'fap ttveition9iranGe:a|^h8titheir 
pnceediogsj ^d'la|d H before thetoanci], 
(ifadug^ ^y would not . acknosdledge^ them 
to be an ecclesiastical council,) containing 
Humy- heavy, though groundless insimia- 
tions and chai^ges against Mr. Edwards, and 
bitter accusations of the pajty who had, 
adhered to hv^* but refiAsed to appear and 
snpport any of thti? charg^es, oi^ so' much as^ 
to^v^. the gentlemen of the council any 
opportunity to confet with them about the. 
affkir depending, though it'was diligently 
sought-^The council having Kefird what 
Mr. Edwards and they whaadhered to himi 
bad to say, advised, agreeably to* Mr. Ed- 
^d&^& judgment;^ that he^, shpuld leave 
Northampton, and accept of the mission tct 
tt^Wch he was invited at Stockbridge; of 
which a rmqce, partj^cular . ac,count will be 

* Many additional facts relative to this sor- 
^9Wf);il <and surpr^ing afikir (the ,mp»t ^ 


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146 TBI LITE or 

do«AitIeU» of $ay of the kind that ever hap- 
penifid ill KewEh^and ; and perhaj»s ma&j 
part of the cfamtiaii world) might be relaMdi 
but aaidia more geneial history iof. it. «ay 
be EA§Bmkmtto answer the ei|ds proposed^ 
viz; to rectify somegros^itiiirepfeseiitatiomt; 
that haye been made of the mattet;*. iandio^ 
t:':' . ;..» ':',.','.'„' -. - r • .• fj *, i^i 07 

-' • TWite Ml tiiAt we/ liaV« bmn ifl^le (o oolle^t, iiesp^ctfhif 
ijiis \er3; Bing;ato mfi«U> we are disposed to infer, tb»|r^ 
precise cauta of th« difi«}rence, 'ftiid cgins^quetiC sepiVfH 
don, 't>et ween Mr. Edwards and ^is i)eople atNt)<^aiU|iml? 
ilri tfot wMfwany attMded ti>,.ordaly •j^pir^taied.r JTiitil 
]^r. ^wwfds W1^ Tery ill tisedi no on^ 0an yiestib^ 
but if that usag^ proceeded from '* tbe passionate %^i>> 
rartce 6t ihe brutish 'multitude^" froih a prinfcipfe' ^ iSP 
doming the distoipies of Igrnathis.of Lojbte^'^'ti pr!iMSi|^ 
*?^rwlufib no <>Jinreh of Chriit evei* avowed;'' if it |iro^^-^*-^ 

froM)' '' such a kind of men as the idolaters at EphesdSy'' 
ttien Who we>e determined that *' thcf bnshitss wal^-Ww 
bettowed'doMrn with ihAifoirce xitimpj^ in ^posfdoillf 
tt^vt)ice of meekness an4 wisdom, reason and i^velatifn|hr 
men wl|o ** meditated the rirln. of their pastor by desig^nsll^ 
CbM^iinrmki'*^ whose T^etreRion kdded st^bohiMbMJf 
m^riU^^ifJ* men Who *' agwed w$fli liiei'teid«A&tQa4^ 
tki| to ft&mpft this mean aind nnjnst 4esi^n,iii ^ ^rji^ 
0pii;it jof ihjnsticc and meanness**-— if the pastor bf t$<9a 
H/^ W'tr^ate^ by them wMi* •'iwkywa^l igt^rOUS, 
«qnning intrigues, and insolent clanKmn;" — in shon^^'tl T^fl^Y ^^ ^^ ^^'^'^ mailed an '^ uqgo^ p^irty,«^ahd 
a '* licentious mob," compeatng an ecclesiastical iMidj df 
«bii^e^^%iatdlred i^^aiJist imwl^/^ SspkawkmAt es« 

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didcovieir the giieat trial Mr* Edwards had 
herduPy lit 19 . thought: hot jto omi^ other 

qoker ifili te Mikitdln io recdnoile all tltft wMh the «iii»: 
yeraally jcfa nwM c d yBd- great iwrnkmiugi^ ^omrMtmn of 
M««*nfQ|iriow4e:ae^8iid Ihe awnH fancq w e Mi - efleef 
^gaBHBQseltgMMi MKMV BWiAtiii «f .thciB, ^ qeptd in g t# 
Mr^^BihwMrdrfi Ofwii mmavM et Hit lartUt? ami lie wm to 
from dmwiag hasty eondoslona about .the femiliMHietB' ef 
iliKpMMf^Teeraiidesidlirtia^eflfa^ dflkidt^ we htg leat# 

. !• In reftN»aee<Jte. Mr. Edmrda liiiii»elf.-^i^Ti4 if we 
ima^eir e tw>t» theq|^ eaineptlj derotcd ta Ood; and^rloTer 
o^lifliiBiaaa; thb fveat nwa wae sot fmSuiQj «oeiiimte te' 
^ipe partMhra.- >• 

i* Ho' aeams'/to h««v {vtMaud too .nnieh on Ut te* 
iiionoe oeea4Ul th^itthahitaito of Ihe toam m as aAiir of 
the tttiiieBt>4eKoBi)w JLaA naalF we pot add» 4hat hia 

I ijBckise mode of ItTing among them (pastond vhdta net 
Veiog iniAiMled in hia mhuiterial plan) ooptribnted not « 

j fittlnto lencn hMinittOMe! Whethar he did righl In* 

I ttnd iMiiienlari and wfaelharllw|VeQ|de 

I al l niraa i pdfer.hia*mOtiye% are otfaca i 

voral of the yoanghfanahbaof the peepteiwere ooanteraetedy 
.iHnnifprtft(tmoK»nf n iteady iddMnrcnceoC the fHuog evil, 
dtan oCmndalM In managlns^ hnoan paanana. Tonad 
t^.ltaftio£.jiadMiiiin:lhOmanMr sUted^ waa caleolated, 
pfiAaM Hj^m^A^Ut/mulk ekonnNitaiMsed aa the people 

I were, withont sappoaing them much wone than otjiar 
aoeietitn •/>:. 

^S^IidOehnnlapjmlr tfaatpiepat meana ymb nBsAmftf 
^ta^deYe4 to eawnfiymet mriaiiv 'lykit^of oppoaMon, ^tk 

d by Google 

148 *: n«B:EiK.ojr 

pErticfafajrarJ lAs'iS propef 'cl0?;c-tb tlDis line* 

ptiMatet'ifiwadiy cdlis' and «xpdstirfalifMi8 wM pafeots^ 

premii9'tbik«Qra.e|iedAad gsoetalintefltigaiibB. ' "■ -' 

i4.«T)li«t.ittM.fof 4mamialf the qoccftiiiii ««f tiglit t» the 

agfiCttnent^ io adiditiiHi.totfttoiiluiaeifDicKffereiMe IdSmi^ 

<toiiaAt»0».llNltpiD[||lt. i'o.!r. '-m: . ."• '*tf*;il p«i.«ri!i ci; •« 

Attempt io justify their conduct; aodpwviiofe'thfli'a^ntH^ 
ikemt' if.JDot all, .had u lawteijiiilsolue of .tiha:iiiAttlrt 
wb«nltii#h^9ft aDedili«iyveriy.bad'abaUa.jra plca»nfljii|pffr 
ciipenfflCiwych<i«flfi«hfll<ins«fft4r (Honarrar, xrifeithMUMi^ 
were some circHmstaoces, which, if ^uly cooaidkiwibillGHyhi 
th^^'dft QOi dxoulpattf tbehiryolinU.sheMr.^thaiRCflUduct 
it» anftit ken aggiUMr^ted :lif ht-ihan tbdt t»ilrllkhia<Hiic^ haviift 
been iddas^to arepiyienlat :;fi(laneiithMidhes^ia but tbd* 
parttoC^eiyidtMiiw • ., ti; ."r-. . - K yi. u '»iu ♦» 

il.^daeiiMfet apfieafiihat the pamntMtCtheiFoliiig'peniesa 
d^fepdf ^ themv hnsurei^tbeoi sHnitaiiaiiee,.ia tiid altegbd' 
il»mtoinaiiel>«fith6irjpMfic«»iJ.9Ih« burner iUoitmt^ AaJ} 
that the> objeehtd^aBli^ loJtbeMM^«r'«iiwhiGb»tbegiavariU 
to bc^ iwtted i^ ap accooptv^iMull tike idifbt fofk'iMtet'£dw4rds 
ty exercise edioiai audi^l^ iU aadn^aMS.... ' ^ ^ /i J; . > : > •.* « 

^S^Asto 4ibcMrtf iews of^iihtfioe tff the Jam&im$afipmf t 
it'.waaiiby no . nwamB <a ]ie# .psQaliaiit>i'iof*'«lB5iKiii|L»iiEa^> 
a^oiiK;eMiabliHhed4i»tom anoagitbdb^'iAMh^hisi^dDiWM* 
nvuiita^ed l^^ibaBj chsicbes iiid><ttble%nMileii ^«9«aid': 

3. The trae state of the qticstibn about .a right to cmnbm: 
nfmioo^ ha* flat/«Bi*hiofc^'i>e^»ottkidiit3f «*B>^''^ ^l^o*^ 

d by Google 




brate what has been, related, the follow- 
ing' letter from Joseph Haw ley, esq. (a 

was asserted that ''.unconverted per^oiis, known to be 

<iic&7 fiaye a right in the sight of God to the sacrament of 

the Liord's supper,'' candour will not infer that this is 

ft&dhin^** lying and hypocrisy.*^— The true quebtion is, 

Wfcat'is the design of this ordinance ? Is it a converting 

ordifian^? Is' the privilege of participation similar to 

thfat of attending a preached gospel? Or, on the other 

I BUtfd, W»'tt iilstit6ted Ibr the use o[ jn-ofeised Believers t 

{ Itt'W 8tftct> §«iiae of tb^^e words Mr. Edwards maintained, 

and w* HAvk Tcry JAstiy maintained^ the latter sentiment; 

but liii people, as "long taugtrt by a dithie of no small 

I «Mc%rtty;'Ms oWb'gtaiRl^Sitfrct*, and the ancestor of many 

I Mker 'pertlMs -tff eon^idenible tnfuenee In the town, be^* 

I Meted tlMl(E»niien . /•; . / . 

I •*^lS[ow,sttpito^g**t1ieferdi*idflWe to Be dc%ned by the 

I iMIttttei^liier^M^ii ikciitl hiean, not only of edification to 

yiik^M^^&d, bih'ilvri "lir^nvehion ib baptized nominal 

I <JhHMkn«f ; wfts-ii^ a pMn^Wh^ dbpJHved their offspring 

tlftlik'^rifltege/Miely -to rotrJcf tH^r fbelings to th^ utmost; 

ittfiUlhimMii be,SMrl^ahy to plead fhit'oui^children were 

tt» ltiil||(er>iHiiiitt^d«it»'im under a i^i'eachcd 'gospel? A 

iMbe pFiMi^le, Hie^efbi*!;) betrayed thefai into warmth an& 

'^liMC^')of»'<(pplriilftoly, ktfehei*^ian a deliberate love oC 

\Miimp i^tiitttV^Aaie ef ii%y^^et" to' it^^- nliiiistcr. They 

hwp a etai e lyitfctti^hl.^Ht bifcptisnl aild the' Lord's sdppdr 

.liililhiiliiiifiMipiij aatl tbel«f<ii^ tha^tfaose who did not 

f etiQBi\ffe7th« f^athfid-mnf^t to the etbet :not considering, 

jtmkHlilPfftmegiiBfd belftbof ^^ciw/r«iMMi'to the' church 

mxrpVMbMtik-Ah$ |pdM0r.*»boi^ ol jMrtttm/er c«9nm«iit«fc 

with Christ and bis professing i&iiM»eisi''^:<'»i '^ • • 

Digitized byCriOOQlC 

ISO THE LXFE or: - i . 

gentleman who was. verier active, in tli6 
tran^ctions of this whole business, and 
very much a leader in it,) to the Rev. Mr. 
Hall, of Sutton, published in a weekly 

4. That the people shonldbe coo8ftdesed.«»M«m.i9SMto 
the influence of a mistaken priuciptep i|ubibed fr^m their 
infancy, (and not c^poiei) by Mr. l^^wsa^ hioiBelf , for 
about twenty years,) than filled with ing^ratltade tmd iim 
love of sin, appears probable from hi»)Dot dlsfPTOWg.AB^ 
wish to leave them. His fr^at alIKiety^ app^an i^* kMt 
\xeen, to convince them of tjieir errc>r in pri^t^ti b»tflH>t 
to leave ibcm as " an abandoned' set^ More nrbatfifj of 
manners, and the cultiration of cfari0^r|aeek»e«% tpra^M 
have tangle them to maintain tMr p|cinc|plo;Jflli| <^fif^«llt 
vay ; and a greater superiority of mind» in examittbig long 
established enstoms by tlie h^f of rp^hktion a94 fint 
reasoning, would have taiigbt thep 40 rctQOttiie»<flN»rf)Ci9 
prineiple bj^whicb they«.w<^ .lielniieri,^ fMnMmf^ 
ffi-incipU was not renoifneedp.: thf^^ w^!i^«UjttW pfe^Bpoffl ^ 
accommodation almost as*bf^^^«k frPi«Aahiqptl»l ^miiukltlv 
and an Antippidobi^st ehwehy tMM^,«te4thefifiK4pl» 
of mixed eommiinion, however €»ei>)kmli in .0t|ier;f«iiie^ 
the character may be^n botb ^id^s^^-^lk^jd iaiif not higiil^ 
probable, that this was th^ light ia wbiiBh the m^^tf Id 

the eoiiyened epmMMiv««w«4lhefltatttr^^'ibe]lateMp^ 
H recionciliatipn-«-nB|,bftweeii afi.fSfitljMt.iqinwlMani 
f* an aban^oBf^d set^ ad^^oipatipg the ^fae of liMMtfnli^, 
b«t-4>etween a valued man, miniatery wmI wihei^ awl a 
peoi^e who, thiKyh ghMllytendiled by^-hin oHMlrlab^gilk 
.were not eonviMieedlgr ^tmm6»i im'x ^Smim t^m 
4KiBiit«te •f rtUgi»iMM«.W» -i /'■' . . . .- -•> } ;.:: 

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aewspapei^ in Boston, May.l9tb, 1760^ is 
here inserted. 

« ^^y Sjj^ " Northampony Miay 9, 1760. 

" I have often wishdtl tliat every member 
of the two ecclesiastical couiiciis that tor- 
merly sat in Northampton, upon the un* 
happy difTerenoes between our former most 
worthy and reverend pastor^ Mr. Jonathan 
Edwards, and the church here, wheieof 
you were a member; I say, air^I have often 
wished every one of them truly knew my real 
sense own conduct in the afiairs that 
the one and the other of the said councils 
%n privy to. As I have long apprehended 
it tb be my duty mot only to humble myself 
Jbefore God f<H: what was. uixQliristiaja dn4 
sinful Jn my conduot ^biefore thti said 
couiicito, but also to confeM my .fauljisr t9 
tk^, lind take shame to myself before 
^msi; sp J ba>iQ oft^n jittidkd with nq^Mlf 
» what mi^iier it w^ practicable .for;r mf 
jto do \U , When I Mndcrstppil t^t ym^ 
,W\iiaiidAIr. Eaton wci^e to :h« j^^t^pJd- 
#lffin^ ab jthc time ofitbis. late coaocila, 1 
resolved to improve the opportunity fuljy 

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to , open my mind there to you and hinS 
theieon; and thought that probably some 
method might be then thought of in which 
my reflections on myself touching the mat- 
ters above hinted at, might be commdni- 
cated to most, if not all the gentlemen 
aforesaid, who did not reside in this county. 
But you know, sir, how difficult it wai 
for us to converse together by ours^ves, 
M^hen. at .Cold-Spring, widiout giving um- 
brage to tliat people ; I theirefore proposed 
writing to you upon the matters whifch I 
liad then opportunity only most summarily 
to^suggest; which you, sir; signified iv^ould 
J)e agi^e^ibie to you. I therefore .jiiow 
Undertake ffhat I then proposed^ in^ i'^hicb 
I humbly lask the divine aid; and that I 
tnay be 'made most' freely willing fully to 
teonfess «my»siii 'aftd guilt to yoli -and* the 
^orid in th(Jse 'instances which I hav^ 
i^ttsOtt to stippoi^e fell under your tvotit^iA 
thty^'iver^ publiti 'ftn'd noOdrious tran^aM:^ 
tidils,^iiiMl on 'account whereof, thief efor<^ 
you, ^ sf^ and ^ ill others who . bad knoH^ 
iedge«h«reof,hAd jiAt dausfe to be oflferided 

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'tkat^^mtiirtfaetcfatutchL'AiUl.pMple of Npp- 
^imtptan;il tfiniied and etted exceedhigly 
in: dtUBehting laivl kbduriog^ ..that tlibre 
shotdd faofid early) af dismissiod ^of.Mr. £d; 
wards from bis pastoral relaticm to ns, even 
upon tkkc^isbppasition that he was really in 
a tnistako:tfi[ the disputed ptoint: not only 
becaiisettbe dispute was upon matters so 
Very disputable 'in themselves^ and at the 
greatest? remove froni. fundamental^ but be- 
cause ^fu Edwards^ so long, had approved 
lufhself a.tubqfcifaidnfu^^nd.JBunful pastorto 
the said* church. He alsa changed his seor 
timentstJiti bhfrt point wholly from a tender 
regard tofi\\;hat: apipearudr to liira to be 
truth; anfd bod made^^kndwn his sentiments 
with' great moderation^ > and^ upon, great 
deltberadotti, against ^1 worldly 'mbti^^s, 
i^om mere ^elity to his gfeaft Mastcir, and 
a tender regard to the sociis of his flo<»lc, ak 
we haduhe highest reason to judge* These 
QDnsideratiojf^s now seem to nfe suflieieut; 
tod would (if We had*been-&f a ifght -spirit) 
haw*, greatly endeared him to his peoplej 
aiid^knade ua to the last degree reluctant td 


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.154 ' i«BfUiMtn»7r?^i 

ipisrt mfh bip^ 9pd Aft|Niftidriisrtb,tibB^«X€r* 
cise of the gioat^ 'ca^kiufc'^ g«ittlikMaVftild 
modm^iofi* . Ht»tr micb of It^>jrfsreite 
jvfaereof appeared ixi ika^ .1 ^jieedooob tifi 
yoiiy. sir, who wkre an;eye«^v]it&eBi iof^rtir 
iteaaperand cbtiduftt • ^ '[ « ai^ ft ^ ;/ */ 
. *^ A«d although it doeiMKftibeofxneiine 
td prooounce^d^fcisiveiy on a- point. «o di»* 
pufeable acr whs^t v^raar/thdn^iflMisptitofiTsetil 
bqg leave : to say, that I : refiiiy < a^ebend 
that. ft ii of the. highesti moinent to .tl|e 
hody of tlids ichurdb, and to/riiei iiil|>artici]i- 
iar, nio9t soiic^duriyto eh<|udiie,i.wfaetiiiai' 
4ike the pharo^es^ ai»d la'wyck-srdii^Jbba IfUe 
Baptist's time, mef^AMt[rqMt:^t)eit^uo^ 
tel of God against; oi|Nraeltes,./iD(>rejeotiiig 
Idr. Edwards^ and Ms doctrhui jwltich was 
the ground of his dianuBsioh.. Audi fauvibly 
jeonireive that it highly. ii|yK>r.ta us aU ^ 
Hm 0bQi:d;f» most^ sjsrionsljijsukd iwpvtiaUjr 
to ^examine iwhiit that most iv^ortlfyiwd 
aUe'Uimfeipufaiiabed^ .aboat* that: .tinui, in 
^^gpoit ofothe^jsam^iwhwebgr h^ beiiig 
dead yet .s{)c»^tj»^ . B(^t t^re mt^j^. J:bim 
tbis^^ siT,;espe«$Uyj>»;niy .Qw» p9trti<3»l«f 
fS994uctib$|offtthe^4F«t 09i4nc»Uiyvhifiymi» 

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Imsa josUjr tpaJttiar of}gfe^ grief a]|di|mda 

jkgisfhkf to me afauost cfver ' «nce, viz. .^ 

.: ^^ In- the first place, I co&f€;s«» l^rrthat I 

itctcd yeiy inmKHleatlj sm^ abusively to 

.you, as wdl ;a» hijuriously to the church 

9Xkd myselii when with nauch ze^i and 4U]* 

heccmiiig asfnuraoce, I oijuvi^d the council 

that ,they woiild ifit^rjiose ix> silence and 

>tqp you lU a^i address you were iifakii^ 

^e nM^niiig to the people, wherein you 

werey if I do not forget, briefly exhorthag 

Xkienn to a t«|)der remembnuice of the for* 

mer fiffection and harmony that had long 

fubsi^ted between them and their revereofcl 

pastor, and the great comfort and pro^t 

which they apprehended that they had ri^ 

ceired from bis ministry; for which, ^if, 

I heartily ask your forgiveness; and I 

think, that we ought, instead pf opposipg 

an exhortation of that nature, to have psh 

ceived it with all thankfulness. . 

*' ' Another particular of my . conduct W 

fore that council, which I now apprehend 

was criminal, and was owing to the want qf 

that tender affection and^ reverend rvape^t 

jatnd ^esteem for Hu Edwards which bejia4 

Digitized byCriOOQlC 

"tSS • 'THE LliE 6^ 

^f^hly liiertteddf me, i^ihmy ntfreniioasfjr 
Opposin^^ ^e^sftyournm^iit' of ^thfci MliMtt^ 
^ubiiiittdd to that V^ouiicil, for afaotlt Wo 
months; for which I dc!6Wfe toy-self ^un- 
fe^nedl;^ sorry ; and I with shame tememV 
iJer,* that I did it in a perempt'oiy, decisive, 
•vclieVlaent, and 'very immodest m^nen ^ 
Luu 35iit, sir, tlic most crimihal'part 'of my 
Xionduct at that iimc, tfeat I aria cbhsdiouk 
-bf;^was^ my exhrbiting to tfteit council a s^t 
of ai-gbmfchts' m writing, the drift whereof 
was to prore the reasonableness andncfcesH 
«ity of Mr. Edwards's discission, in caseiib 
^iccbmniodatioh was then effected with'mu- 
tuklicbnscnt; which writing, by clear im- 
'plicatioD, contained some severe, unchari- 
table, and, if i remember right, grbumlless 
and slanderous imputations on Mri Edwards, 
expressed in bitter language. And althotigh 
the origiiial dra/t thereof was not done by 
me, yet I foolishly and sinfully consented 
to copy it; andi as agent for :the church,' to 
•read it, and deliver it to the council ; which 
^ couM never have done, if J had not a 
Vi<A:ed relish for perVerse thiiigs: wbicli 
conduct of mine I confers was very sinfol^ 

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^^rtid highly i^rovfllefcg t6 God j'for^hfdi I 
tain ashamed; cdnfotindcdj aiid have tiothing 
"to answer. * .- -» , . 

' ** As td- the chnrdi's remonstrance, as ?t 
Mras called, which their comriiittee preferred 
to the last of trie said councils, (to aH which 
I was consenting, and in the composing 
^h^reof 1 1 was' very active, as *aIso * in 
bring'ing the church to their vote upoti it;) 
1 would,' in the first place, only obsen^e, 
that I do not remember any thing, in that 
small part 'of it which was plainly expres- 
ftire of tK6 expediency of Mri.Edwurdss 
ire-settiemeht^ here as pastor to' a part ctf 
the church, 'which "^as very exceptionabW, 
But as t6 all the residue, which was much 
4;he greatest part thereof, (and 'I am not 
certain that any part was wholly free,) it 
'^as every where 'interlarded with unchrin- 
tfein bitterness, sarcastical, arid utimannerly 
insinuations. It contained divers direct, 
grievous, iand criminal charges and allegav 
•tions ^gkiriSt Mr. Edwards, which, I have 
Isiiice goc^d reason to suppose, were all 
bounded on jealous* and uncharitable mis- 
take*, and so were really, gross slander*; 

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aUo 0ia^y be^v^r and rcfom^fitl «liM;g«& 
^upbn clivers of Mn £dvfar<l&V adkereo^ 
and some severe coisures of them aJL ku^ 
cximimuly ; all of' which^ 'if opt wholly 
j&lse and groundless, yet weve altoged^ 
lumecessary, apd therefore highly crimitMU. 
ludeed I am. f^lly .co]ivmi:«d> that tlfj^ 
vrhvle of that composure, exqepjtin^ t^ 
small part thereof ^ above mentioned, wab 
totally unchristian^ a ^qandalous, abusive, 
injurious libel, against Mr. £d wards and his 
4>ai'ticular friends, especially , the formerj 
and highly provoking and detestable in the 
3ight of God; foT whi^h I am hDartil|r 
sorry and ashamed; and pray I may re- 
»ember it with deep abasement and peni* 
tence all my days. Npr.da I now td^ink 
th^t the church's conduct in refusing to 
jippear, and attend before that council to 
support the charges and allegations in th€ 
said remonstrance Against Mr. £d wards and 
the said brethren, which they demanded, 
was ever vindicated by all the subtly an- 
swers that were given tP the said dem^a^id ; 
iior do I think that our conduct in that 
instance was capable of a defevc^t For it 

d by Google 


FBEUDOTT ^£99r^KB8. 15$ 

«p|l^f!Sio.ii)f^1ttMitl>y making uich cbargey 
igainst them before the said conacil, we 
p€^^96»$ili^i:9(k far: gave that council jwis- 
dkrtian ; .aii4 1 #kVn tvitHySpwojur and regret, 
J(bftt i> ^fUou^y^ €^dea,voujre4 that the 
thurch should^ perseyeripgly refuse to ap 
|K3$if ,^fore. t))e $aid <^CH»!i»:ii for the purpose 
n^esald ; . whicfc ; I humblj pray. God to 

:"^* Another^ part of my icoo^uct^ str^of whicti 
3' have k>fig repented^ ai^d for. jivhiph I 
bftrebjir dfplare my hearty Mxyow^.was.vay 
^stipate Imposition to the last council's 
h^mg any conference with the churcb^ 
which • ti)e . said council earnestly and jtr 
pfi^t^dly inpv^d ibr^ and wliich the churcl^ 
119 you knoAVy finally denied. I tliink it disr 
cpyefed. ^ ,S^^^^ desd, of prjde, and vain 
9Uffici^apy in.tiiechurc}ivand shewed them 
^t .be. y^ry,qpinionative, especially tlie chief 
stipl^iofStppe of whpm I was, and think it 
lV2|S;r|LijnniQg a most presumptuous risk, and 
Ki^i^g the^part of proud s(;ornej:s, fur us to 
r«f|is§ shearing, and candidly and seiiously 
CQusidf!;npg w)iat tba^ council coujd say or 
oppose Uf- n^j among whom there were 

Digitized by CriOOQlC" 

divert! justly in gr^fat repiitatioiffclP @A(t« 

and'WisdomJ j"'^u<l .->;}; .nf.i^* 

•**• '^In' these instances, ^ir, 6f 4nji«eoi*duc^ 
and in others (to which yoft V(^^ not ptii?y) 
iri'the course of that Hjtosttrtclamsholy con- 
tention with Mr. Ed\vards,: Lnow see that! 
was very much inftuenced by^ast pild^, scl^^ 
sufficiency, ambition, 'aiid vanity. - I appear 
to myself vile, and doubtless much ^*l6l*'«o 
to others,' who are mbre impartial; ailii' do 
in the teview thereof,* abhor *iyself, anJ 
r^ent sorely: and if* my owa heart con- 
itemns'me, It beho^'^^s me solefimly to rc- 
TOettiftei", mat God is grcat^ev/^and know6t6 
all ihittgi. I hereby Own^ sir, that Wdi 
tre^tmfent bl^ Mr. Edwards, wherein I waf 
so deeply concerned' and active, was pai^ 
ticiilarly, and very aggravatedly sinful and 
uugratefiil in me; becaui^e*I'\^as'- not only 
under ttie common obligationsiof each indi- 
vidual of the society to him, as to a most 
able, diligent, and faithful pastor; but I 
had also received marty instances df his 
tenderness, goodness, and generosity to me, j 
as a young kinsman, whoni hie w^S disposed 
to treat in a most friendly miantier« . \ 

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VnE§tbttfV EDWARDS. 1 6 1 

\- »^ Indfeed,' sii', 1 Wust bwtlj ^ that by my 

condir<^t;in odnsultitig and a<«ting against 

Mn Edwin'ds'Hvithiii iHt time 6f out most 

imlidppy aisjJufea w4 th hHii,'^*ld ^specidrlly in 

ai^ abbaf t^hat abomiuable 'feMdbstrance/ 

I have- so far symfefelized V^ith Bal^amii 

Ahrto^hel, ind Jiidas, that I am confounded 

andfllled wfth terrdr oftentimes wb^n I at- 

tend to the liiost painftil simHitude.*— Atfd 

1 freely confess, thw on ace6<int of m^ 

c6ndu6t above metitioned, I have the gpeat* 

est reason to tremble at those most soletnk 

and awful words ofonr Savioilf^, Matt. xvii>. 

C; fVhoso shall t^ffend Jim of *hes6^ i§»c" and 

tho^ in Luke, x. \6. He that despkerhifo^ 

S^c. ;^znd* I- ato taiost sorely ^serisible^ that 

tiotliing bitt that in«frfW:grar<5e mnl W«K?f 

vfeSeh, saved admft ^f illfeii*«*raywi-^Mii 

mui^deffers^ of oiur b)6ss^d'i&Jbrdy kid' th^ p^ 

secttt?6rfr^bis martyt^, caol ^tAcnit^ke^^^i^ 

whidhalohe I hope for pkifAbii.ffbtihe ftkht 

of Christ,, whose blood? blessed be^Oodv 

cl^anseth f«)m aU sin. On ' tfie^ whole, si», 

I am uc^vincedy that ^I have* thegreateit 

Masfok to say as David^ ' Have<nie^ tipooi 

toe, O'G^ acebfdtii^ 1K> 'tlV'lo^i^G^fi?^ 

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ae»s; iaccqriif)g to lM imnUitt^cf thy 
tender mercies, blot out my tmqsjgmisioiuii 
3va^ me thoroughly from ix^ine ^nii^uity^ 
and cleanse. P4^ .frpm i^y sin; ;for I a^ 
Icnpwledge m^y t^rimsgressiqnti^ and my sin 
IS'ey^r before i^c— Hide thy face from my 
^ins, and blot ou^ all mine iniquities : create 
in.qie.a.^lean heart, O Go<^and renew a 
kjghti^pirit within me{ cast me not away 
feonl, thy ,pre&f^n?e, and i take ?*ot thy i^ly 
Spirit fr6m me :; ri^store unto me thejoy of 
.thy ssjvjatiop, a^d uphold me yrith (hy fre« 
Jipirit;;(Pfialm lu 1-—% 5^18-> 
, V And I htt?ibly «ipprehei>d that it gr^tly 
fcmoeros thi^ qbw'ch of |^orthampto|a. mos| \ 
mttf^mly t{> ej^mm^^i whej^pr^ th^cmafly 

^rd jsp«9P^./»ppke& by mjany particul» 
^MimiMtt's ^g9in%i thfv- former, pa^or^ soim 
^Ctwiiicli Jbh^.iffbiiiich 9^4%; o^uQte^aQped^ 
4»Qd>»pfitii«Uiy |/bQs0 »|iqK«|i J>y ik^ ghu^ 
*a*^)dyitoj|b«^mo>t;Vik ^«mOTstranQe,> 
iire AiQt «^ odkluf 4ind. ull09dly^ a^ to b* 
>itt^9ly iwcapaWfof defettc^j MchiJtbef the 
latd/i^ifib Moecejndt^gi^ty ef a.great siii 
in beiiigt<soowiIing[.wdIdi$p(^ ^MtiM 
^kl^jiifc»is^itu(|^a|:it fiMt}tj» ^^ 

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g^ly a : ]«$oi9ter ^s Mr. j&d w^rds . was ; and 
Irii^theriever God will bold w guiltlefts till 
we crypto fcim fw CbriH-s. 8ak(e to pardon 
itad a$ave Uaihto thalijudgttkcutwhiutisucli 
i^gwUy d^dirdeterv«4 Aiidl mo«t)keartily 
trtah and^ pray^'tfaat ^ town and .^h<irch 
of ^^thainpuoa iwbtild $eriou&ly wd carer 
^Uy eican»3()€^' whiethw tlicy 'have not 
ifaouiifeint cause 'to judge that tb^ are now 
fymg/nnder ^eat igkiilt iu thes^ht of 
€kjd;r and whether tboise of m who were 
eoniKrhed in ^at. most .awful eiont^atioii 
with Mr; Edwards, ^aaeviettiiore r^A^pabljr 
hxpdet Oqd'i.^TOur aiitd; bleiMuifi^ t^l our 
irJn»)m^opewd; and lire hecc^ii^^ tlft0P9<pghrj 
bonvJaeedthat wehavegremtljrpiovoted |h|^ 
Itfa^ Highland hsiMs beeii iiVttrk«t»i ti>/0«if 
bftl^bestofjnen; an^ iintiiw^ Ml be 
<iK^t>ii^ly eDiivfifceidilbatHe'hafe>dfead^ 
Mfy ^ecuted Chfiistv ;by prntomtm^MM 
irexit^? liiat just itiaai^aiui;tMn>vasit.oi' Uhriatc 
iimttt we aball be hupiUe oa in the dost cm 
account of it, and till wte ofettljf, |a ^ 
llemi$, and without ^baulkifag tho idatter, 
li^Mfesa liiii gime be^vevthe motid,mi 

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f(54 ^ ' THt LIFE Wl^" 

ef God, an<l ;dd wftat wc ciW to feonDuf the 
memory of Mr. Edw^r<is,^arid clcarih^ of att 
the asjierlwo^ whi*li W ftftjuetty c^st tipmi 
hifH ; i^fice ^od has .Heefi pSeased to pnit'it 
beyond otii^ powei: tovit^k/iMi^ibipgiVeitess: 
SHch tepm% I siirf pensuided, the; ^ve^n an«t 
righteous (|k)d wili hold'us^ fo;atid th^tl 
wiU be in vaiti f&t its to btope to«eselip^ 
Withliftpumty iB any *otbei? wayJ .Thiff'I 
am convinced of with regard: to myself and 
this \nray I most' solemnly |>rdpoiie' to: taft^ 
inysclfj'^(if God ki ki^^mtrcy sbalVgime mo 
opportunity^,) that^ soi 4)y. nmkragi free ledn^ 
fessito tk> Ood • a(iid; man ; of .myr ^iiDj^Bd 
guU};,' andi pi^Uicly^ taking sjfcame tojotyse^ 
I may give ^^17 'to ihe God^iofiltraeVand' 
tk^'^h^/l>inm^pilieB, tbxrkartfa&.in^iiioiy.jaf 
that' v^eraUe mtoM frpm ^e.irtoogfl . a^ 
i^fOfitsi^i^^aft aolacttdt)^ ki /bri9gilig> im<l»b 

alattltfc 3»tiib«f«isplfiasmlitPi8pcii3q[,4ii3^h^^ 

i^Aatfaif,i«»<^ang./ i::i Lj; ji u ?:i,,;'^.j 
,:-H4Aikh0i%^;I/inftdk tbetMl|sttoee,;pfnai^ 

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UM'<i»*<MrJSdlibai«h)'»! life, land bd^ 

f ibiniM6dalH>i#<»oc:lUiiMgc^ imd I.ha«e>retM 

sob4Mii9efts«!e:dttft^,o^k«A his grekt>bM4 

<kMiv taoAtithmty^ htdrtilfvfoiigavie .'me mad 

^ fVi^-*4 ^4Mo«n^f'<y<fr beBataeutftat JcMKiwi 

glMtmUjfiJtitHmtffilnlBok pAJimyarifafeliyii 

' ^fWteufbkhyr stc^^ fQr. while .1 Jccpe 

aitwifee,; y yi i bq uB «: irax^iiotd; 8oc' :.-Eor &l^ 

tfie8S'ttty<-|^«gKt mob,' dietefore^m- die> first 

ptsMp,f(hibnblj^<and' noet eanieitijn ariO'lbfM 

gitotatttK 0f>€ioii; Ki' dle'ocait plme,«bfrtface 

ilifaMsivesiaMiinev^eiMis «('i^J^w9rA»f 

liliAlo^aiikt'ihe foi^clttess vfiwttiittotff ieii^ 

Mnit«ilBal}ed>MH EdwairdgV dAtoilw)W;:!^U(b 

(lfiitfdlls^kbo«<< ^iMntb&dd? liidi lastly/ c^ 
all christian people, -who hSim^-'lSiA any* 

-J»^*»liliv«i««':dc»irej-8ir,vthat you 'should) 
dsM^^ny secwtlof this'leturr^Xai «hat yout 
\il«ttHl'4tomitli^M^>:liel iites^ ^'WtMkd^yod) 

sImH g^<n1«^fl{Wf()a^*ity;- Ib^^k-oiitttie It fo' 
l^ii]MffotiA««i: k'^tCMe lo)a^ %f1ttkie'tAitiFlici 
i^SKi^tMl^its:; tltoli^Mfil^l <jl«94i^4lttf ««h^J 

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166 . jmmram/xsat 

die lbr^ihg>niafttjen .te.-aUl)h^fad4>u|^tr-1iit 

^tUnk'I jTugfaft tm&>,i^'mhatw0fttmm:^lm 
I-.Aiayi.foraKe iwiUi b«i 9nde>:<bteapftff*i» 
Fiobdirlgr vlieiL j«jdiocb«»«iyt^:4oii»e Mfpagn 

nt|i>Mlli «ivpttn9'otlifn2wiU(b«i¥tti<Mieik 
^ith jiUittcirfbr totithaod ptoMlBlfir; .^tbeti. 
will cut*0B9y;pinB ittwca*, 9»<«el*ltog t6t 
mattcis. cpute staler but aomci, I aiti. |ier- 
SMadsdyWill f^/oitB .to see me brtmglit ta ia 
MlMe .o£ liDjr sitti. aiMi>iduty IcHImI. I ioy«elf 
8M>\ WoteMaotis .tbftk> ,1 hoiVc.dqiie some^ 
^in«:«f-wlM< the Mtuoeof ftM^a^ea^nuti^ 
tDwtad ttudoiog what 1% Mid Imig has been,) 

wwever-dtac; .. • <•:./*• 

*' Sir, I desire ^tiMwe wtmUl «LteJ?t«MMI 
thM^ht ifiM^ my hfivifig. spekeik x)f»pcct' 

tg OUT ftveKcul jNU^r,}, fw.^he v^yt^vf^ 
i^ ^ei 9d4 I hav|s jai.fey«vep4 e^t^iH, n^ 
v^luft and Realty «ie«tiflii.jfiir !<«»» mi^ 
him Qo4, that hfi jiaPk.;n»tw!ith9tab4iiig:aU 
ow wworthiMM^ gty«n 14 «ne to vjiof»ei 

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Ifr. BiiPtnli, wfa(% ar I ^e renoa to bop^ 
ii>tmljiaillifoL'. r; •• • ' .• •• ^ . r -.-v't 
rff' I'CQMkide^thb king lefMafi kyihe^xtiif. 
diiif i ii y jimrfiftyya, thak.iQjr.tvpefatttiioe 
•f mjr/iiMiattove aientionediim^ibef ihqh 
aid' geniuMBe^«Bd Auehi u <!^ 
fwrcgr, fori Chtistlsr aaikie,: will, ^e^ 
^t;. . i^^d I lieg iittre ito Mbacribe nyscU^ 
a^^Sir, yeiu ireal» tthoiigh loeaf^r/un worthy 
c. .'. -ifiwaUyrasd/iiibcdMeii^ 
.*M.^ .... : ... .,;. f iJmmbHiHawxky/ I 


jETf I iMissiofi to lAe J«i^^ 

IrVe regatd ^IPr. Edwards's deep acquaint-- 
aiice with the holy scriptuit^, and tW 
ihiluence of divine truth on his oW^ heart ; 
ifVe consider, also^ his long experience in 
tlic work of the ministry, with hii disposi- 
tf6fn to observe the operations' dfiiuman 
Aimds icnd^pdissloiis, and to Improve siichf 
kno^d^ to ^fhfc most profitable'^urposes; 

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we mtif : safely '>9a»y; Itha|> t^eu^MModid' buC 
few men, if any, better qualificldtiftfcoiidilGtz 
ifjmi^bnvabmi^^hfr Udia^^^^ the 

<9ther* faa]nd/i6inifei^b0'c|iiprtfcmari{i;ipM^ 
, hw' i«^lu$etiturii;''his iiatiiralii^rcsefv^aKfo 
Mnibein^ toi tb ^ /kdhto?,/jMMdw tiiei 
pie&siity/of-tiis' mindi doselyttp^ r WTert%ifee; 
ab»tr£B«tediy erinytcHificiilt )Ribjdcl>lduitp?e*i 
sentcd-ilfselfyivpgsny not^miif^i^onitaUe trtfits 
for such^ a situatioii^ however, beneficial it* 
might ^be fAr;his:'cy^n improvement. Mn 
Edwards was qualified to shine in some 
departments of the seats of learning, and was 
afterwards called to/presi4e over one; but 
y^hen he was delegated to instruct savage 
Indians, there was occasion to suspect a 
perfect suitablene^ in the appointment. 
On •this, iio>ii^€^«^* dilTei^ii^ persons ' may 
fprm dj^entrpgittipnsj aii^rtt^ is ou^jbusii 
ness now I9 give.^Qj]Be;aqq9ui^-^f the 
appoiiftjneftt, J ^] , , .. ,, , .;,;,/).-, ,,,„,,. , 


9ay, siptjyi ip^s ffo^ Ni^f tl|^^^,\>qp|^ 

vacant.)^ .tbp (4^^^|i.;of;th?,^^ 

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mutn for Indtau affairs in Boston; wlio 
ha«e the care and direction of it, applied to 
Mr^ Edvfrards a3 the most suitable pers(ni 
tfaey could think of, to be entrusted with 
that, mission. At the same time lie was 
wvjted by. the inhabitants of Stackbridge; 
und b^mg advised by the council above 
mentioned to. accept the invitation, he re- 
paired tp Sto^kbridge, and was introduced 
and settled a9 missionary to the Indians 
there, by an ecclesiastical council called 
for that purpose, August Sth, 1751. 

When Ml'. Edwards first engaged in the 
mission, there was a flattering prospect of 
its being extensively serviceable, under his 
care and influence; not only to that tribe 
of Indians wliich was settled at Stock- 
bridge, but among the Six Nations, some 
of whom were coming to Stockbridge to 
settle, bringing their own, and as many of 
their neighbours' children as they could 
obtain, to be educated and instructed there^ 
For this end^ a house for a boarding-school; 
which was projected by Mr. Sergeant, was 
erected on a tract of land appropriated to 
that use by the Indians at Stockbjridge; 

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170 Tire UFE OP 

where the Indian children, male and fe- 
male, were to have been clothed and fed, 
and instructed by proper persons in useflil 
Ifeaniing. The boys were to have been 
taught husbandry or mechanic trades, and 
the girls all sorts of women's work. For 
the '. encouragement of this design, some 
liberal sobscriptions were made both in 
England and America, llie general court 
of the province of Massachusetts Bay did 
tnuch to promote the affair, and prm'ided 
lauds for the Mohocks who should incline 
toxome. And the generous Mr. Hollis, to 
encourage the scheme, ordered twenty-four 
Indian children to be educated on the same 
footing, wholly at his cost. The society in 
Ix)ndon, for propagating the. gosipel among 
the Indians in and about New England, 
also directed their commissioners in Boston 
to jdo something considerable towards the 
design. But partly by reason of sotne un- 
happy differences that took place among 
those \yho had the chief management of 
this business at Stockbridge, of which a par- 
ticular account would not be proper itt this 
flaps J and partly by the breaking out of war 

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between England and France, which isgene^ 
rally very fatal to such affairs among Indians^ 
this hopeful project came to nothing. 

Mr. Edwards's labours were attended 
with no remarkably visible success while at 
Stockbridge; though he performed the 
business of his mission to the good accept^r 
ance of the inhabitants in general, both 
£ogUsh and Indians, and of the commis^ 
sioners, who supported him honourably, and 
confided very much in his judgment and 
wisdom. However, S|:ockbri|dge proved to 
Mr. Ed^Tards a more quiet, and, on many 
accounts, a much more comfortable situa- 
tion than ihe one he was in before. It 
being in a corner of the country, his 
timie was not sp occupied with com- 
pany as it. was at Northampton, though 
many of his friends, from almost all parts of 
the land, often made him pleasant and 
profitable visits. And he had not so much 
concern and trouble with other churches as 
lie was obliged to have when at Northamp- 
ton, by being frequently applied to for 
advice, and called to assist in ecclesiastical 
councils* Here therefore he pursued his 

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beloved studies more closely, and to better ^ 
purpose than ever. In thesj six years he 
doubtless made swifter advances in know- 
ledge than before, and added more to his 
manuscripts than in any equal space of 
time. And this was probably as useful a - 
part of his life as any. For in this time he 
wrote the last two books that he pub- 
lished,* (of which a more particular accQunrt 
will be given hereafter,) by which he has 
doubtless greatly served the church- of 
Christ, and wil4 be a blessing to many thou- 
sands yet unborn. 

Thus, after bis uprightness and faithful- 
ness had been sufficiently tried at Nor- 
thampton, his divine Master provided for 
him a quiet retreat, which was rendered the 
more sweet by the preceding storm; and 
where he had a better opportunity to pur- 
sue and finish some important work which 
God had for him to do : so that when in his 
own judgment, as well as that of others, his 
usefulness seemed to be cut off, he found 
greater opportunities of service than ever. 

<* fiis Tfeatises qu ** The Will," and on « Original &iiu» . 

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His Election-'to the Presidency of New Jersey 

During his residence \ at Stockbridgc, 
Mr. Edwards appears to have given full 
scope to his propensities and genius, stimu* 
lated by his ardent love of truth, and under 
the controul of a correct judgment. While . 
at Northampton,^ his avocations were un- 
avoidably numerous, and scarcely compa- 
tible with a profound attention to subjects- • 
he might be disposed to investigate; but, at 
Stockbridge, he found himself in that re- 
spect more at hberty. . After having been 
$0 long in the ministry elsewhere, his pulpit 
preparations would require Tess time thau 
before. His studies were less interrupted 
by company and calls. Former anxieties 
were now removed; his mind was drawn 
more closely to God, from his |)ast expe- 
rience of the fickleness of men, and thereby 
became mpre composed, more enlightened, 
and more elevated. Here he was led to 
investigate subjects of radical importance in 
niorals and theology, and to ti-ace them to 
their first principles., And here he pub- 

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lished his master-piece of inquiry and 
close reasoning, his Treatise on the Will, 
which completely established his character 
as an adept in metaphysical science, and as 
a profound divine. The celebrity, he ob- 
tained by this work, and very deservedly 
obtained, had, doubtless, no small influence 
on the trustees of New Jersey College, 
among other considerations, in looking to 
Mr. Edwards to become their President, on 
the death of Mr. Burr, his son-in-law. 

The Rev. Aaron Burr, President of New 
Jersey College, died on the 24th Sept. 1757 ; 
and, at the next meeting of the trustees, 
Mr. Edwards was chosen his successor; the 
Bews of which was quite unexpected, ^uid not 
a little surprising to him. He deemed him- 
self in many respects to be so unqualified 
.for the situation, that he wondered how 
gentlemen of so good judgment, and so 
well acquainted with him, as be knew 
some of the trustees were, should think 
of him. He had many objections in his 
own mind against undertaking the officej^ 
toth from his unfitness,, and his particular 
circumstances ; y^t could not certainly dc- 

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termlne that it was not his duty to accept 
it* The^following extract of a letter which 
he wrote to the trustees, will give the 
reader a view of his seatiments and exer- 
cises on this occasion, as well as of the great 
designs he was deeply engaged in, and zea* 
lously prosecuting. 

** Stockbridge, IQthOct. 1757. 
•* Rev- and Hon. Gentlemen, 

"I was not a little surprised on rfeceiving 
the unexpected notice of your having made 
choice of me to succeed the late President 
Burr, a^ the head of Nassau Hall. I am 
muck in doubt whetW I am called 1p» 
imdertake the business, which you have 
done me tlie unmerited honour to chooso 
mc fcf. If some regard may be had to 
my cmtWard comfort, I might mention the 
Hiany. inconveniences and great detriment 
whi(5b may be sustained, by my removing 
with my tiumerous family, so far from all 
the estate I have in the world (without any 
prospect of disposing, of it, under present 
circumstances, but with great loss) npw 
when we have f carcely got over the trouble 

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and damage sustained by* our remox'nl from 
Northampton, and have but just begun 
to have our affairs in a coifnfortable. situa- 
tion for a subsistence in this pkce; and't^he 
expence I must immediately be at to put 
myself into circumstances tolerably com- 
porting with the needful support of the 
honour of the office I am invited to ; which 
wiH not well consist with my ability. 

^* But this is not my maia objection: the 
chief difficulties in my mind, in tliewayof 
accepting this, important and ai'duous office,' 
are these two : First; my own defects, un- 
fitting me for such an undertaking, many 
of which are generally known ; besides . 
other, which tny own heart is conscious of. 
I have a constitution, in many respects 
peculiarly unhappy, attended with Ikccid 
solids; vapid, sizy, and scarce fluids, and a 
low tide of spirits; often occasioniiag' a kind 
of childish weakness and contemptibleness , 
of speech, presence, and demeanour; with 
a disagreeable dulness and stifitiess, much 
unfitting me for conversation, but more 
especially for the government of a college. 
This makes me shrink at the thoughts of 

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taking upon mie, in the decline of fiffe/suclV 
anew and great business, atfendccKvitU'such- 
a multiplicity of cares, and requiring.' siich a- 
degree of activity, alertness, and spirit of 
government; especially as succeeding one* 
so remarkably well qualified in these re- 
spects, giving occasion to every one to 
remark, the wide difference. 1 am alsd 
deficient in some parts of learning, p^rticu*^ 
larly in Algebi*a, and the higher parts of 
Mathematics^ and in the Greek Classics; 
my Greek leamirtg having been chiefly in 
the New Testament. — ^Tl^ other thing is 
this; that my engaging in tHis business 
will not Avell consist with, those views, and 
that course of employ in my study, which 
have long engaged and swallowed up my 
mind, and been the chipf entertainment and 
delight of my life, \ : 

" And here, honoured sire, \(0mboldene4 
by the testimony I have now receiveilof 
your unmerited esteem, to rely on ytwr 
candour,) I will with freedom open 'myself 

to you; ,;:..* 

"My method of study, front my $ist 
Ijeginning the work of the ministry^/iiis 


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178 7H£ LIFE OF 

been very i»uch by writing; applying my* 
&€lf in this way to improve every important 
iiiqt; i^u^uing the clue to my utmost^ 
wb^nnny thing in reading, meditation, or 
COTiver^ation, has been suggested to my 
inin4 that seemed to .promise light, in any 
weighty poipt; tliuspenning what appeared 
to jpie my be«t thoughts, on innumerable 
subject^ for my ow^ benefit. The longer I 
pfosccuted my . studies i^ this method, the 
xj£me habitual it becape, ^nd the more 
pleasant and profitable I found it. The 
farther I travelled in this way, the more 
and wider the fiijld,op<,^ied, which has ocqa- 
»ionQd my laying out many things in* my 
mind to do in this manner, if God should 
9pare; my life, which my heart hath been 
much upon: particularly many things 
against most of the prevailing errors of the 
j^fesiirit day, .which I cannot with any 
|)atien€€ «f e maintained (to the utter sub- 
Vfff^ng of the gqsfel of Christ) with so 
lligb a bwdi jtnd sq .long cpntinued a 
triumph, with so little controul, when it 
mpftwtt m evident to me, that. there is' 
tioly wot foundation for any of thi^ glorying 

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and insult. I have already published soroe- 
thing on one of the main points in dispute 
hetween the Arminians and Calvinists: and 
have it in view, God willing, (as I have 
already signified to the public,) in like man* 
aer to consider all the other contraverted 
poiats, and have done much towards a 
preparation fbr it — But besides these, I 
have had on my mind and heart, (which I 
long ago began, not with any view to pub^ 
lication) a great work, which I call a Hi^ 
tory 9ftht f¥^&rk of Redemption, a body of 
divinity in an entire new method, being 
thrown into the form of a history; con* 
sidering the affair of Christian Theology, ai^ 
the whole of it, in each part, stands in refer- 
ence to the great work of redemption by 
Jesus Christ ; which 1 suppose to be of all 
oilers the grand design of God, and the ' 
summum and uttimum of all the divine ope- 
rations and decrees; particularly considerin^g 
all parts of the grand scheme in their his- 
torical orden The order of their existence, 
or their being brought forth to view, in the 
gourse of divine dispensations, or the wo»- 
deiiful series of successive acts and events; 

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beginmiig from etemit)-, and descending 
from thence to the great work and succes- 
sive dispensations of the infinitely wise God 
in trme, considering the chief events coming 
to jMiss in the church of God, and' revolu- 
tions in the world of mankind, affecting the 
state of the church and the affair ,of re- 
demption^ which we have account of in 
fiiflStQiy or prophecy; till at last we come 
to the general resurrection, last judginent, 
and consummation of all things ; when it 
shall be said, It is dom. I iSh Jipha and, 
Ontega^ the Beginning and the End. Con- 
cluding my work; with the consideration of 
that perfect state of things, which shall be 
finally settled, to last for eternity* This 
history will be carried on with regard to 
all three worlds, heaven, earth, and hell; 
considering the connected, successive eventiy 
and alterations in each, so far as the scrip- 
tures give any light; introducing all parts 
of divinity in that order which is most scrip- 
tural and most. natural; a method which 
appears to me the most beautiful and enter- 
tain^ing, wherein every divine doctrine will 
appear to greatest advantage, in the brightest 

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light, in the most striking manner, shewing 
the admirable contexture and harmony of 
the whole. 

** I hate also for my own profit and enter- 
tainment, done much towards another great 
work, which I call the Harmony of the Old 
and New Testamenty in three parts. The 
first, considering the prophecies of the Mes- 
siah, his redemption and kingdom; the 
evidences of their references to the Mes- 
siah, &c. ; comparing them all one with ano* 
ther, demonstrating their agreement, true 
scope, and sense ; also considering all the 
various particulars whereiji these prophe- 
cies have their exact fulfilment; shewing 
the universal, precise, and admirable cor- 
respondence between predictions and events. 
The second part, considering the types of 
• ^e Old Testament, shewing -the evidence 
of their being intended as representations 
of the great things of the gospel of Christ ; 
and the agreement of the type with the 
antitype. The third, and great part, con- 
sidering the harmony of the Old and New 
Testament, as to doctrine and precept. In 
the course of this work, I find there wiU 

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180 THE- LITE OF' 

)\\;.::vi for an explatiatton of a. very 
p ,r p.j^ of the holy scripture; which 
niiy, iVi sa:h a view, be expl:iined in. st 
method, whkh to me seemi the mhst enter- 
taining and profitable, fbcst temling to. lead 
the mind to a view of the tiue spirit, <ie- 
sign, life, and soul of the scriptures, as well 
as their proper use and improvement. — 1 
have also many othet things in hand, hx 
some of whicb I have made great progress, 
which I will not trouble you with an ac- 
count of. Some of these things, if divine 
providence favour, I should be willing to 
attertfipt a publication of. So far as I my- 
self' am able to judge of what talenta I 
have, for benefiting my fellow-creatures 
by word, I think I can write better than I 
can speak. 

*' My heart is so much in these studies^ 
that I cannot feel willing to put myself 
into an incapacity- to pursue them any more 
in the future pat t of my hfe, to such a de- 
gree as 1 must, if I undertake to go through 
the same eouri^ of employ, in the office of 
a President,: that Mr. Burr did, instructing 
in all the languages, and taking the whole 

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care of the instructiou of one of the classes 
in all parts of learuiag, besides his other 
labours If I should see light to detennine 
me to, accept, tlie place offered me, I should 
be w^illing to take uppn me the work of a 
President, so far as it consists in the general 
inspection of the whole society ; and to be 
SAibservient to the school, as to their order 
and methods of study and instruction, as- 
sisting myself in immediate instruction in 
the arts and sciences, (as discretion should 
direct and occasion serve, and the state of 
things, require,) especially the seijior class ; 
and added to all, should be willing to do 
the whole work of a professor of divinity^ 
in public and private lectures, proposing 
questions to be answered, and some to be 
discussed in writing arid free conversation^ 
in meetings of graduates and others^, ap- 
pointed in proper seasons for these ends. 
It wtfuld be now out of my way to spend 
time in a constant teaching of the lan- 
guages^ unless it be the Hebrew tongue^ 
whiph I should h? willing to improve 
myself in, by instructiug others; 
: "On the whole I ammuchfat ^ loss, with 

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IB4 ^ THE LIFE or 

respect to the way of duty in this important 
aftair: I am in doubt, whether if I shoukl- 
engage' in it I should not do what bc^th you 
and I would be sorry for afterwards. Never- 
theless, I think the greatness of the affair, and 
the regard due to so worthy and venerable a 
body, as that of the? trustees of Nassau Hallj 
requires my taking the matter into serious^ 
consideration. And unless you should appear 
to be discouraged by the things which I have 
now represented, as to any further expecta- 
tion from me, I shall proceed to ask advice 
of such as I esteem most wise, friendly, and 
faithful: if after the mind of the com- 
missioners in Boston is known, it appears 
that they consent ta leive me at liberty^ 
with respect to the business they have em- 
ployed me in here/' 

In this suspense he determined to ask 
the advice of a number of gentlemen in the , 
ministry, on whose judgment and friend- j 
ship he could rely. Accordingly, at the 
request of himself and his people, these - 
geiitlernen met at Stockbridge, January 4, I 
1758; and, having heard Mr. Edwards's 

representation of the matter, and what bis , 


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people had to say by-way of objection 
against his removal^ deemed it to be his 
duty to accept the ittvitatioti^ to'ftie pre- 
sidency* of the college. When • they pub- 
lished their judgment and advice, Mr. Ed-^ 
wards appeared uncommonly moved and 
affected with it, and fell into tears 'on the 
occasion, which was very unusual for him' 
in the presence of others : and sdoii after- 
said to thjB gentlemen, that it was mattei* 
of wonder to him, that they could so easily, 
as they appeared to do, get over the ob-* 
jections he had made against ,hi4 removal. 
Bat as he thought it right to be directed 
by their advice, he should now efideayour 
Cheerfully to undertake it, believkig he was 
in the way of his duty. 

Accordingly, having had, by the applica- 
tioii of the trustees of the college, the cbnsenfr 
of the commissioners to resign their*mis8ion ; 
he girded up his loins, arid set oflpfrom Stock- 
bridge for Princeton in January. He left 
his faniily at Stockbrid^, rifet to be remt>ved 
till spring. He H^d 't%o daughters at 
Princeton, Mrs.-Biirr, thejwi<low of the late? 
President, and bis oldest daughter that waf 

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18$ <rU£ LIFE QF 

unraarried. Hk arrival aitPruiceton'oras to i 
the great satjsfafCtion and joy of the col- 
lege. And indeed all the best friends to 
tlie institution, and to^ the interest of re- 
iigk>n» were Ingbly gratified a^^ pleased 
tirith the appointnient 

The icorpof atiom met as sopn as they could 
wilik ccoiveni^ice, after his arrival at the 
coUeg9, wh^n he w^s fixed in tb^ PireM* 
d^nft's ch^if* While at Princetcm, befpre 
his sicknes;^ he preached in the college- 
hall sabbath after sabbath, to the great ac- 
ceptance pdf the hearers; bi)t did* nothing 
9S President, nnleais it was to.give.put :3<MPM 
questiims in^divinity to the seE^loii cla^sis, to 
l^e ali${vei^d .befoFe him ; e^^ch one baviv^ 
opportunity to study and write what he 
thought proper upon them. When they 
<^ame rtogqther tp answer thens^ they found 
so jQ2uch, entertainment a^d profit, espe- 
cially ^« ^6; IJgUt: and instruction Mi*- ^" 
ward^fpommunicgte^ in what he said upon 
the.jij^stiqn^ }.when . tliney bad ^l^livered 
whati.tbey bad to say, thitt they spcdbQ 
of Jt^^iwiKh v.ibci g^jsstesb^^tiilactiioo and 

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Daring this time, Mr. Edwards seemed 
to enjoy an uncommon degree of the pre- 
I scnce of Go<L He told his daughters he 
once had great exercise, concern; and fear, 
relative to his engaging in that business; 
but since it now appeared, so far as he 
could see, that he was called of God to 
that place and work, he did cheerfully 
devote himself to it,, leaving birosiBlf and 
the event with God, to ordeiT what seemed 
to him good. 

The small-pox had now become very 
common in the country^ and was then at 
Princeton, and likely }:q spread. Mr* £d^ 
wards had never had it ; and as inoculatioii 
was then practised with gr^at success in tUoa^ 
parts, he proposed to be inoculated, if thf 
physician should advise it, and the corpo- 
tation would give their consent — :Accord» 
^gly> hy the advice of the phy£4cian,.,and 
with the consent of the corporaticHji, he was 
inoculated February 13th. He had it far 
vourably^ and it was thought all danger 
was over ; but a secondary fever 9^t in, apd 
by reason. of a number of pustules in his 
t4iroat, the obstruction waa svich» that tI)Q 

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mediciDes necessary to check the fever^ 
coiild not be administered It therefore 
raged till it put an end to his life oh the 
22d of March, 1758, in the 55th year of 
his age. 

After he was^ sensible that he could not 
survive, a little before his death, he. called 
' his daughter, who attended kim in his sick- 
ness, and addressed her ih a few words, 
which were immediately taken down in 
writing, as nearly as could be recollected^ 
and are as follow: — ^""Dear Lucy, it »eems 
to me to be the will of God that I musfe 
jhortly leave you; therefore give ihy 
kindest love to my dear wife, and tell her 
that the uncommon union which has sa 
long subsisted between us, has been of 
^uch a nature, as I trust is spiritual, and 
therefore will continue for e-ver: ajid I 
hope she will be supported under so great 
a trial, and submit cheerfully to the will 
of God. ' And as to my children, you are 
no\v like to be left fatherless, which I liope 
will be an inducement to you all to seek 
a' Father who will never fail you. And a* 
to my funeral, I would have it to be like* 

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Mr. Burr's; ,^nd any additioHal sum of 
money that might be expected to be laid 
out that way, I would Irnvc it disposed of 
to charitable uses."* 

Ife said but veiy little in his sickness; 
'but was an admirable instance of patience 
and resignation to the. last Just at ,the. 
close of life, a^ some persons who stood 
by, expecting he would breathy his last in a 
few minutes, were lamenting his deaths 
not^ only as a great frown on the college, 
but as. having a dark aspect on the interest 
of religion, in general; to their surprise, 
not imagining that he heard, or ever would 

* President Burr ordered, on his death-bed, that his 
, funeral shotdd not be attended wtl^ pomp and cost, by 
giving away a great number of costly mournings scarfs, &c; 
uud by the consumption of a great quantity of spirituous 
Jiquor«: which is an extraTvgance that is become too 
custoinary in those p^fs, especially at the funerals of the 
great and tbe rich. He ordered that AOlhiog abonld be 
expended but what was agreeable to tbe dictates of chris- 
tian decency ; and that the sum which must be expended 
at a mddish funeral, above the necessary cost of a decent 
6ne, stiouhl be given to the pooty oat of bis estate.. It is t^ 
be wished and. liopod^^that tbp laudable, exan^ple of tbesiQ 
two worthy Presidents, iiL which they bear their dying 
testimony agiiiuSt a practice so unbecoming 'and of' such 
laad ieadeacy so many ways^ may biivo' some good effect 

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Speak another word, he said, *^ Trust m 
God, and ye need not fear." These were 
his last words. What could have been more 
suitable to the occasion ! AikI what need 
of more ! In these is as much matter of 
instruction and support, as if he had writteft 
a volume. This is the^ oiily consolation 
to his bereaved fiiends, who are sensible 
of the loss they and the church of Christ 
have sustained in his death; God is alK 
sufficient, and still has the care of his 

• He appeared to have the uninterrupted 
use of his reason to the last, and died with 
as much calmness and composure, to all 
appearance, as if he had been only going 
to sleep. The physician who inoculated 
and constantly attended him has the fol- 
lowing words in his letter, to Mrs. Edwards 
on this occasion : ^^ Never did any mortal 
man more fully and clearly evidence the 
sincerity of all his professions, by one con- 
tinued, universal^ calnij cheerful re^gnation 
and patient submission to the 4ivihe will, 
through every stage of his disease, than he. [ 
Not 80 much as one discQotented eKpressioSi 

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nor the least appearance of murmuring 
dirough the whole! ^nd never did any 
peraon. expire with mow perfect freedom 
from pain : not so much as one distortion j 
but in the m«t proper sen^e of the words> 
he really fell asleep," 


His Publicatiom^ Manuscripts^ and Genius as a 

Mr. Edwards was highly esteemed, and 
indeed celebrated, as an author, both in 
America and Europe. His publications 
naturally excite in the reader of judgment 
and moral taste asi exited opinion of his 
greatness and piety. Hisj works mefwith^ 
good reception in Scotland especially, and 
procured for him great esteem aqd applajuse; 
A gentleman of njOte there for his superior 
genius and talentSi \^ the .follo>y}pt^,ex« 
pressions" concerning Mr. Edw^rdi^s^Jja 9 
letter to one of his correspondents in Ame* 
rica: ^^ I looked <Hi him as incomparably 

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19J TllE LIFE Of 

the greatest divine and (moral*) philosd* 
pher ;m> Britain or hir colonies; and re- 
joiced that one S9r eminently qualified for 
teaching divinity was choseii President of 
New Jersey College." In another letter, 
he adds, " Ever since I was acquainted 
with Mr. Edwards's writings, I have looked 
upon him as the greatest divine this age 
has produced." And a reverend gentle- 
man from Holland observed, " That Mr 
Edwards's writings, especially on the 
Frteiom of the tVill^ were held in great 
esteem there ;" and " that the professors 
of the celebrated academy presented their 
compliments to President Edwards." This 
gentleman further remarks, that " Several 
members of the Classes of Amsterdam 
gave their thanks, l^ him, to pious Mr. 
Edwards, for his just observations on Mn 
Brainerd's Life ; which bo6k was translated 
in Holland, and was highly approved by 
the university of Utrecht. 

Viewing Mr. Edwards as a writer of 
sertnons, we cannot apply to him the epithet 

* Tkis must have been the Irriter's mtitBuili^. 

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9lpquenty in the common acceptation of the 
teitn. We find in him nothing of the great 
masters of eloquence, except good sense, 
forcible reasoning, and the. power of 
moving the pasMons. Oratorical pomp, a 
cryptic method, luxurious descriptions pre* 
sented to the imagination, and a rich va- 
ried of rhetorical figures, enter not into 
his plan. But. his thoughts are well di^ 
gested, and his reasoning conclusive; he 
produces considerations which not only 
force the assent, but also touch the con- 
jcience; .'he urges divine authority by 
quoting and explaining scripture, in a 
form calculated to rouse the soul. He 
moves the passions, not by Httle artifices, 
like the professed rhetorician, but by 
saying what is much to the purpose in a 
plain, serious, and interesting way ; thus 
making reason, conscience, fear, and love, 
to be decidedly in his favour. In this 
manner the passions are most profitably af* 
fected; the more generous ones take the 
lead, and they are ever directed in th« 
way of practical utility,. 

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194 THt LIFE OF 

' From what has been said, it is eas>f M 
conjecture^ that close discusisions were pe- 
culiarly suited to Mr. £dv(rard$'$ talents. 
And, as a further evidence to shew whidi 
way his genius had its prevailing b^t, it 
is observable, that his style improves in 
proportion to the abstrusity of his subject. 
Hence, generally speaking, the productions, 
especially those published by himself^ whicfc 
enter^ into close, profound^ metaphyfti<^ 
distinctions, seem to have as much p^- 
-spicuity as the nature of the case will ajdmit 
To be convinced of the proptiety of tliis 
remark. It is only necessary to consult iS\e 
Treatise on the Will; a work justly thought 
by able judges to be one of the greatfot 
e^rts of the human intellect. Here the 
author shews such force and strength W 
mind, sucfh judgment, penetrattibn, and ac- 
curacy of thought^ as justly entitle hini ^o 
the character of one of the greatec^ ge'nlales 
of tlie age. We inay add, that this tiea- 
titse goes further, perhaps^ towards settling 
the main points in controversy betw^een 
Calvinists and Arftinians, than any thing 

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that had been written. Herein he haa 
abimdaotly demonstrated die chief princi- 
ples, on which Anminians build their whole 
scheme, to be false and most ^surd. 
Wh^iever, therefore, this book comes t9 
be generally attended to, it will doubtless 
prove fatal to Arminiaa and Pelagian 

Though the work iu>w mentioned afforded 
the fairest opportunity for metaphysical 
investigation; yet, the same petietrating 
turn, the same accuracy of discrimination,. 
and the same closeness of reasoning,! 
distinguish many of his other produc- 
tions. Among these we might mention 
particularly, his book on Original Sin, 
his Discourse on Justification, his Disser- 
tation on the Nature of True Virtue, and 
that concerning the End for which God 
created the World. If the advocates of 
jselfish' virtue, and of universal restomtion, 
will do themselves the justice to examine 
these Dissertations with candour and close- 
ness, they may see cause to be of the 
author's mind. His other discourses ate 

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196 tHE LIFE or 

excellent, ittcludrag much divlhlty, and 
tending above most that are published to 
awaken the conscience of the sinner,' as 
well as to instruct and quicken the chris- 
tian. The sermon preached at Enfield, 
fith July, 1741, entitled "Sinners in the 
hand of an angry God,** was attended with 
remarkable impressions on many of the 
hearers. In his treatise entitled " An 
humble attempt to promote explicit agrees 
ment, and visible union of God's people in 
cxtraopdinary prayer, for the revival of 
religion,** he evinces great acquaintance with 
6cripture, and a remarkable attention to 
iSie prophetic part of it. 

Mr. Edwards left a great number of 
vqliimcs in manuscript, which he wrote in 
a miscellaneous manner on almost all sub^ 
jects in divinity. This he did, not with any 
design that they should ever be published 
in that form, but for the satisfaction and 
improvement of his own mind, and thajt he 
might; retain the thoughts, which appeared 
to him worth preserving. Some idea of 
ithe progress he /had made, and the mate-^ 

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rials be had collected in this way, 'he gives 
iu his letter to the trustees of the college, 
when assigning his reasons against accept** 
ing the Presidency. He had written much 
on the prophecies concerning the Messiah, 
on justification, the divinity of Christ, and . 
the eternity of. future punishment. He 
wrote much on the bible, in the same 
manner; penning his thoughts on particular 
passages, as they occurred to him in reading 
QT meditation. 

As the method he took to have his -mis- 
cellaneous writings in good order, so as to 
be able with ease to turn to any particular: 
subject, is perhaps as good as any, if not^ 
the best that has been proposed to the pub- 
lie; some account of it is here given, for 
the. use of young students who have not 
yet adopted any method, and are disposed 
to improve their minds by writing. He. , 
numbered all his miscellaneous writings. 
The first thing he wrote is No. 1, the 
second No. S, and so on. And when he had; 
occasion to .write pn any papticular topic, 
he.first.set down the numberi and then 

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198 THC LIFE air 

wrote the subject in large characters, that 
it might not escape his eye, when he should 
have occasion to turn to it For instance^ 
if he was going to write on the happiness 
of angels, and his last No. was 148, he 
would begin thus— rl49* Angels, their hap- 
piness. — ^When he had written what he de« 
signed, he turned to his alphabetical table, 
and under the letter A, inserted Angels^ 
their happiness, if this wasnot there already, 
and then set down the number 149, close 
at the right hand of it. And when he had 
occasion to write any new thoughts on th^ 
same subject; if the number of hits misceU 
luiies were increased, so that his last num- 
ber was 261, he set the number S6S, aiid 
then the. subject as before. And when 
he had done writing for that time, he turned 
to his table, to the word angels j and at the 
right hand of the number 149, set down 
£68. By this means he had no occasiop to 
leave any chasms; but began his next sub- 
ject where he left off hiis liast The number 
of his miscellaneous writings, ranged in this 
manner, amounts to above 1400. And yet 

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by a table contained on a $heet or two of 
paper, any thing he wrote can be turned to 
at pleasure^ 

The iRJWowing lines in a poem by Dn 
Dwight, entitled, " The Triumph of In- 
fidelity/* may not be an unsuitable close to 
our account of this eminent man. The 
poem is written in a strain of irony, as well 
as the explanatory notes; and though the 
descriptions are supposed to be given by 
the prince of darkness, yet most of them 
aFe strikmg likenesses to the originals. Thi$ 
is given by way of complaint 

^ Bat, my chief baoe, my apoitolic foc^ 
In life» ip laboim, aoorce of rvety woe» 
From scenes obacore 4id hovf^n his Edwau»i caS, 
That moral Newton, and that second PanL 
lie, in clear view, saw sacred iiystems roily 
Of reasoning worlds, around their central lonl; 
Saw love attractivo every system bind. 
The parent linking to each filial mind ; 

. The end of heaT Vs high works reaisllott ihowM, 

. Creating giocy» and cvealed good ^ 

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200 THE LIFE or 

And, in one littfo life, the gospel more 
Disclosed, than idl earth's myriads kenn'd before^ 
Beneath his standard, lo ! what numbers rise, 
To care for truth, and combat for the skies f 
Arm'd at all points, they try the battling field. 
With reason's sword, and faith's etherial shield.*^ 

A Catalogue of President Edwards^ Works^pub' 
lishedin Eight Volumesy royal octavo. 

Vol. I.— Enquiry into the Freedom of the Will. — ^A Dis- 
sertation concerning the End for which God created 
the World. 

Vox. II. — A Dissertation concerning the Nature of True 
Virtue. — ^The great Christian Doctrine of Origina^ 
Sin defended. — ^Man's original Blindness in the. Things 
of Religion. — ^An humble Attempt lo promote ^plictt 
Agreement and visible Union of God's People in ex- 
traordinary Prayer. 

Vol* III. — A Narrative of the surprising Work^of God, in 
the Conversion of many Hundred Souls, in and about 
Northampton. — ^The Life and Diary of the Rev. David 
Brainerd, with Notes and Reflections.— Mr. Brainerd's 
Journal, in two parts. — ^First Appendix^ containing his 
general Remarks on the Doctrines preached, with' 
their extraordinary Effects, &c.*^Second Appendix, 
containing an Account of his Method of learning the 
Indian Language, and of instructing the Indians,— 
Third Appendix, containing his brief Account of the 
Endeavours osed )}y the Missionaries of the Society in 

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Scotland, for propagating Cbiistian Knowledge. — 
Mr. Brainerd's Remains, contaioing Letters and 
other Papers. — A Sermon preached at the Ordination 
of Mr. Brainerd, by the Rey. £. Pemberton, A. M.^ 
Reflections and Observations. 
Vou IV.T-A Treatise concerning Religions Affections, in 
three parts. — ^An Appendix to the Treatise on the 
Affections, in two Letters to Mr. Gillespie. — Christian 
Cautions; or, the Neciessity of Self-Examination. — ^A 
Warning to Professors; or, the great Guilt of those 
who attend on the Ordinances of Diyine Worship, and 
yet allow themselves in any known Wickedness^ — ^The 
final Judgment; or, the World judged righteously by 
Jesus Christ — Sinners in Zion tenderly warned ; or, 
the Fearfulness which will hereafter surprise sinners 
in Zion, represented and improved, — ^The End of the 
Wicked contemplated by the Righteous; or, the Tor- 
ments of the Wicked in Hell, no Occasion of Grief to 
the Saints in Heaven. 

Vol. v. — ^A History of the Work of Redemption, con- 
taining the Outlines of a 'Body of Divinity, including a 
View of Chnrcb History, in a method entirely new. 
•—Men are naturally God's Enemies. — ^The Wisdom 
of God displayed in the Way of Salvation. — Christian 
Knowledge; or, the Importance and Advantage of a 
thorough Knowledge of Divine Truth. — Christian 
Charity; or, the Duty of Charity to the Poor, ex-. 
plained and enforced. — Seven Sermons on different 

ToL* VL — Some Thoughts concerning the present Revival 
of Religion in New England.— Five Discourses on the 
Soul's eternal Salvation.— Two Sermons,.--Seven Se^n 
inons on important Subjects. 

^ k5 

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VouVII.— EDqairy concerning Qaalifici^tions for Commn* 
nion. — MisrepresentiKtions corrected, and Truth Tin* 
dicatedj in Hepljr. to the Rev. Solomon WilUMns.-*A 
Farewell Sermon preached at Northaropton.-^Re8iilt 
of a Council of nine Churches met at Northampton.*** 
Fifteen Sermons on various Occasions. 

YoL. VIII. — Five Sermons on different Occasions.— Mis- 
cellaneous Observations on important Theological 
Subjects.— Remarks on important Theolop:ical Con- 
troversics.-~rDistingaishing Marks of a Work of the 
Spirit of God. 

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' coNTAiiriirOy ' 




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J Sketch of Mrs. Edwards* s life and Ckatader. 

Mrs. Sarah Edwards, the amiable con* 
sort of President Edwards, did not long 
survive him. In September, 1758, she set 
out on a journey to Philadelphia, to take 
care of her two orphan grand*children, 
wlio were then in that city; and had been 
siface the death of Mrs. Burr. As they had 
no relations in those parts, Mrs. Edwards 
proposed to take them into her o\yn family. 
She ari;ived there by th'e way of Princeton, 
Sept. g], in good health, having had a 
comfortable journey. But in a few days 
she was suddenly seized with a violent dy- 
sentery, which put an end to her life on 
the fifth day, October 2d, in the 49th ye^r 
of her age. She did not converse mucK in 
her sickness; being exercised most of tho 

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206 THfc LIFE OF 

time with violent pain. On the mornifi^ 
of the day she died, apprehending that her 
death was near, she expressed her ^entire 
tesignation . to God, her desiriC that he 
might be glorified in all things, and her 
solicitude that she might be enabled to 
honour him to the last. In such a temper, 
calm and resigned, she continued till she 

Her remains were carried to Princeton, 
which is about forty miles from Phila- 
delphia, and deposited with Mr. Edward&^s; 
so that they who were in their lives re*^ 
markably lovely and pleasant, in their death 
were not much divided. Thus the father 
and mother, the son and daughter, were 
laid together int the grave, within the space 
of little more than a year; though a few^ 
months before, their dwelling was xnore 
than one hundred and fifty miles apart :-r^ 
two presidents oiF the same college, and 
their consorts, than whom it will doubtless 
be difficult to fiiid four persons nioi:e. 
valuable and useful ! 

By these repeated strokes, following in 
quick succession, and completed in a few 

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m^onths^ vrhat a loss has the American part 
o£ the christian world sustained! By these 
deaths, how much knowledge, wisdom, and 
liolin€is$, is gone from the earth for ever! 
And where are they wKo will make good 
tlie loss! — But God is all-sufficient 

Mrs. Edwards was born at New-Haven, 
in Connecticut, Jan. 9, 1710. Her father 
was the Rev. James Pierpoint, who was 
long an eminent, pious, and useful minister 
of the gospel at New-Haven.* She wa* 
ixiarHed to Mr. Edwards, July 20, 1727, in 
the eighteenth year of her age. 

Though Mfs. Edwards's entire character 
will not be attempted here, yet it is thought 
{]^t)per to mention a few particulars, in 
which she excelled, and exhibited an ex- 
a(mple worthy the imitation of all.-^She re- 
membered her Creator in the days of youth,. 
and became truly and remarkably religious 

* He was the eldest soa of Mr. John Pierpoint of 
Koxbary, Who came from England. Her mother was 
Mrs. Mary Pierpoint, eldest daughter of Mr. Samnel Hooker^ 
minister of the gospel at Farmington, in Connecticut^ and 
son of Mr* Thomas Hooker, Once minister of the gospel 
at Hartford, and &moas ^s a divine through M the chiirches 
ia-£ngland« «^ 

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at about five years old. In her [Person she 
was comely and beautiful; and of a plea- 
sant, agreeable countenance. The law of 
kindness was in her tongue ; her behaviour 
was courteous, and her* conduct amiable. 
She was eminent for her piety and experi- 
mental religion. Religious ccmversation 
was much her delight; and this she pro- 
moted in all companies, when proper. Her 
discourse shewed at once her good under- 
standing in divine things, and the great 
impression they made on her mind. The 
friends of true piety, and they who were 
ready to engage in serious conversation, and 
delighted in that which was. most essential 
and practical, were her chosen associates. 
To such persons she would open her mind 
freely, and tell them the exercises of her 
own heart, and what God had done for her 
soul, for their encouragement in. the ways 
of wisdom. Jler mind appeared to attend 
to divine things constantly, on all occs^ 
sionsj and in every business of life. To 
the sacred duties of the closet she was a 
great friend, and took much delight in 
them. She highly prized social religioii. 

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When at Northampton, she used to fre- 
quent the private meetings for divine wor- 
ship ; and even promoted and attended 
meetings of persons of her own sex only, 
for prayer and religious conversation. She 
was not only a constant attendant on pub- 
lic worship, hut also behaved with great 
gravity and seriousness in the house of 

She paid proper deference to Mr. Ed- 
wards, and treated him with respect at all 
times. As he was of a weakly, infirm con- 
stitution, and was peculiarly exact in his 
diet, she was a tender nurse to him ; cheer- * 
, fully attending upon him, and ministering 
to his comfort. She spared no pains in 
confbrming to his inclinations, atid making 
things agreeable and comfortable to him ; 
accounting it her greatest gl6ry, and that 
wherein she could best serve God and her 
generation, to be the means of promoting 
Mr. Edwards's happiness and usefulness in 
tiiis way. ,And no person of discernment 
could be conversant in the family, without 
observing and admirijtig the great harmony, 
and mutual love and esteem that subsisted 

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between them. — ^Yet, when she herself lar 
boured under bodily disorders and pains, 
which was often the case, she was not 
wont to be full of complaints, and to put 
on a dejected or fretful countenance, bemg 
out of temper with every body and every 
tb'mg, as if she was di$re^rded and neg^ 
lected; but she would bear up under th^n 
with patience, and a kind of cheerfuloesK 
and good humour. 

She was a good economist, managing her 
household affairs with discretion and dili* 
g^nce. She was very careful that nothing 
should be wasted and lost; and often^ when 
she did^ny thing to save a small matter, or 
directed her children to do so, or saw them 
^a9t^ any thing, she would mention^ the 
w^rds of our S^avioUr, ^^that nothing be lostf 
which, she said, she often thought of, a$ 
containing a maxim worth remembering; 
especially when considered as the rea&im 
why his disciples should gather up the fta^^ 
ments. She took almost the entire charge 
of the temporal afiairs of the family, withr 
put doors and within; in this she was pe^ 
culiarly suited to Mr* £dwards's.dispo$jiti(mr 

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MR& EDWARDS. fill 

who chose to have as little care as possible 

of any worldly business. 

. She bad an excellent way of governing 

ber children ; she knew how to make them 

regard and obey her cheerfully, without 

loud, angry words, much less heavy biows^ 

Sh^ seldom struck her children ; and in 

speaking to them adopted niild, gentle> and 

pleasant terms. If any correction was 

needful, it was not her manner to give it in 

a pasfttoii. An4 when she had occasion to 

reprove and rebuke, she would do it in few 

i^ards, without warmth and noise, but with 

ak calmness and gentleness of mind. In 

her directions or reproofs, in matters of im-f 

portance, ^e would address herself ta ibc 

reason of her children, that they might not 

only know her inclination and will, but at 

the same time be convinced of the propriety 

of tliem. She had occasion to speak but 

onoe; she was cheerfully obeyed; mur-^ 

muring and answering again were not 

known among them. And the kind and 

gentle treatment they had frcmi their. 

naother, while she strictly and piuictually 

maintained her piurental authority, seemed 

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naturally to generate and promote a filial 
respect ; and to lead them to a mild, tender 
treatment of each othen Quarrelling and 
contention, which too frequently take 
place among children, were not known 
among them. She carefully observed the 
first appearances of resentment and ill-will 
towards any in her young children ; and did 
not connive at them, as many who have the 
charge of such do, but was careful to show 
her displeasure, and suppress them to the 
utmost ; though not by angry words, which 
often provoke children to wrath, and stir up 
their irascible passions, rather than abate 
them. Being thoroughly sensible that, in; 
many respects, the chief care of formiing 
children by government and instruction^^ 
naturally lies on mothers; (as they are 
most with their children at an age when 
they commonly receive impressions by 
which they are very much formed for life ;) 
she was extremely solicitous to do her part 
in this important business. When she met 
with any special difficulty in this matter, 
or foresaw aay, she was wont to apply to 
Mr, Edwards for advice and assistance ; and 

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cm 8uch occasions they would both attend 
to it> as a concern of great importance. 

But this was not the only way in which 
she expressed her care for her offsprings 
She thought that parents have a great and 
important duty to discharge towards their 
children, before they are capable of govern- 
ment and instruction. She, therefore, con- 
stantly and earnestly prayed for them, and 
bore them on her heart before God, in all 
her secret and most solemn addresses to 
him ; and that feven before they were bom^ 
The prospect of becoming the mother of a 
laktiona]^ immortal creature, was sufficient 
to lead her to bow before God daily for 
his blessing on it; even redemption, and 
eternal life by Jesus Christ. So that 
through all the paiii, labour, and sorrow, 
which attended her as the mother of chil- 
dren, she was in travail for them, that 
they might be bom of God, 

As the law of kindness Was in her tongue, 
so her hands were not withheld from bene- 
ficence xand charity. She was always a 
friend and patroness of the poor and help- 
less; and abounded much in acts of bene- 

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S14 Tire Lil^E OP 

volence, as well as in recommending them 
to others on all proper occasions. She was- 
remarkable for her kindness to the frietids 
and visitants, who resorted to Mr. Edwards; 
•paring no pains to make them welcome, 
wd to provide for their convenience. She 
was also pecnliarly attentive to strangers, 
who came to her honse. She soon got 
acquainted with them, and shewed such 
concern for their comfort, and so kindly 
offered what she thought they needed, ai 
to discover that she knew tihie heart of a 
stranger, and well understood how to do it 
good. Her guests were thus made to feel in 
some measure as if they were at home. 

She made it a rule to speak well of all, 
so far as she could with truth and Justice. 
She was not wont to dwell with delight on 
the imperfections of any ; and when she 
heard persons speaking ill of others, she 
would say what she thought she could, wift 
truth and justice, in their excuse; or divert 
the bbloquy by mentioning those tlimgs 
that were commendabfe in thefn. Thus she 
was tender of every one's character, even of 
their's who injured and spoke evil of her; 

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tad carefully guarded against the too com- 
mon vice of evil-speaking and backbiting. 
She could bear injuries and reproaches with 
great patience, without any disposition to 
render evil for evil ; but on the contrary^ 
was ready to pity and forgive diose who 
appeared to be her enemies. 

She had long t6ld her intimate friends 
that she had, after continued struggles and 
exercises, obtained, by God's grace, an 
: habitual willingness to die herself, or part 
with any <^her nearest relatives; that she 
was willing to bring forth children for 
death ; and resign him whom she esteemed 
so great a blessing to herself and her family, 
her nearest partner, whenever God . should 
see fit to take him. And when she had 
her greatest trial, in the death of Mr. 
Edwards, she found the help and comfort 
of such a disposition. Her conduct Jon this 
occasion was such as to excite the admira- 
• tion of her friends : it discovered that she 
was sensible of the great loss which she 
and her children had sustained in his de- 
cease ; and at (he same time shewed, that 
she was submissive and resigned, and had 

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those invisible supports which enabled her 
to trust in God with calmness^ hope, and 
humble joy. 

Mr. and Mrs. Edwards lived together in 
the married state above thirty years ; in 
which time they had eleven children, three 
sons and eight daughters. The secon4 
daughter, died Feb. 14, 1748, of whom 
there is some accbimt in Mr. Edwards^ 
Life of Brainerd. The third daughter wa# 
Mrs. Burr, the wife of President Burr, 
already mentioned. The youngest daughter, 
Elizabeth, died soon after her parents. 

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MM. BURR. !iil7 


A brief Account of Mrs. Esther BurTf Preriimt 
EdoHJirds*s Daughter. 

Bf RS. Burr and her children were inociu 
lated at the same time that her father was. 
and had r^coveretl when he died. But 
after she tvas perfectly restored^* to all 
appearance,. she was suddenly seized with a 
violent disorder, which carried her off in a 
few days; and to which the physician said 
he could affix no name but that of a mes-- 
senger sent, ^ddenfy to call ^erout of the* 
worUL^ She died April 7> 1758, sixteen 

* Tkoogh ibe pbjrsioiatt bore ^ tesfimony, yet pei^ 
hvpSy tbe greater probabffity is, an cdol refleetioii, that 
0one noxious hnmonff bad stiD renfidaed |n ber eonstitu- 
tkan, as a predisposdiii caue of tbe ^ violent disorder/' 
HowiTfer tbn mvf be/lbe case of bef ft;tber is a decided 
one; tbat alarming disease^ tbe Smalt Pox, in tbe mildest 
ferm hi wbicb it ean be adminfatered, prbved fata) to him, 
and indeed to tboasandsmore, Inoeolktionis undoubtedly 

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9)% TH& LUE OF 

days after her father, in the twenty-seventh 
year of her age. She was married to 
Mr. Burr, June 29> 1752. By him she 
had two children, «#40flkaqd'^ 4^ughter. 

Mrs. Burr- exceeded most of her sex in 
the beauty of her pemony as well as in her 
behaviour and conversation ; and she disco- 
itowdt an V unaffedted, natuVal freedom to^ 
wards persons of all ranks, with whom she 
conversed. Her .genifis Mf^ much^ ?V¥^ 
tlian common. She had a lively,, spri^tly 
imagination, a ^quick : and penetrating 
thou^tit^ and k gop^ judgment. ,She had 
a peculiar smartness in her paake and 
temper, which yet was qpasistent with 
pleasantness . and ^opd ,nature ; and. sJhif 

tbe safest mode of recpjving the infection, as^innuinerabie 
c^erimenis Evince; — but we' are g^teftil aofid' happf iff 
ipmiMi^ tbat.Provideo$9 llllth 'now-siiewii us.-^' a itiM iU> 
cellent way." We rejoice that the Vaccine Inoculatiott 
l^ains t^e confid^ce of^tbe publjc^ tbMmgh,aigf^ Ijart^of 
tiiewo^ld, fn prppprt^oii to ^ f^wiofp ext^t of . j^ractiu* 
And snrely tbo09 yrha occ^y pofts of i<iflMiGe,,wbeyMC. 
in the state ,pr in ^be i;hui^» deserve well of bot^»> 
kind in general, and of iK>steniL]^ ^hiJe ihc|y ifttpiave that 
influence, in whatever fonn, towards enulieatiiig that 
odious ^d fatal ^isordfir, tbA 3i^attP93(»:lqF a MiEe iiaA 
easy subst»tiite,--.W* . . 

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knew how ta be agreeable and facetioos 
without trespassing on the bounds of gra- 
vity, or strict and sertona reli^iont In 
diort^ she seemed formedr to please, and 
especially to please one of Mr. Burr's taste 
and talents. But that which crowned all her 
eycc^lesicies^ and formed her chief glorjr* 
waa RXLioiow. She appeared to be thd 
snbjeet 'of divine impreMions when seven 
or eight years old ; and she made a public 
'profession of religion when about fifteen. 
Mer conversation^ until her, death, was. 
exemplary, and as becoiiieth godliness. 
But as her religious sentiments and ex- 
ercises will best be understood by those 
who were strangers to her, from her own 
words, we shall present our readers with a 
few extracts : the following are made from 
letters which ?Jie wi*ote not long bieforc 
her tJeath.-»*-The first is an extract from 
a letter she wrote to her mother, not long 
after Mr. Burr's deaths dated at Princeton^. 
October 7, 1757. After giving some ac* 
count of Mr. Burr's death, and repreisenting 
the sense she had of the. magnitude of the 

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220 THE LIFE or 

Icjss she and her children; had sustained,^ 
she writes in the following^ words : 

** No doubt, dear madam, it will be some 
comfort to you to hear, that God has not 
utterly forsaken, althongh he has cast down/ 
P nirould speak it to the glory of God*$ 
ni^me, that I tibihk he has in an unconimon 
degree discoveried himself to be aii all- 
sufficient God, a full fountain of all good. 
Although all streams were cut off, yet the 
fountain is left full. — I think I have been 
enabled to c^t my care upon him, and 

* Great indeed was the loss which these children stub: 
tained by the death of both parents, the, gaide of thej^ 
tender childhood, and the dangerous period of their youth* 
in the paths of wisdom. Professor Burr*s daughter married 
Topping ReeTe, esq. an eminent lawyer at Litchfieldy io 
tibe state of Connecticut, who became one pf the justices of 
the superior court; a yery sensible, worthy man; and a 
Steadfast friend to religion ; manifesting a conscientious sense 
of duty, and being much esteemed. Mnk ReeVe was a 
woman of superior understanding and <^complishments. 
She died several years since, after having long laboured 
under peculiar feebleness of constitution, and much disease. 
They left one son, who was educated in Yale CoUege.— - 
Th^ son of President Burr, notwithstanding so. great a 
loss, lOM indeed to worldly honours that by some would 
be deemed, flattering^ as Vice-President of the United 
States. But if he had a aerious attachment to Christianity^ 

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MRS. BURR. 221 

hatve found great peace and calm in my 
mind, such as this world catlnot give or 
take. — I have had uncommon freedom, and 
nearness to the throne of grace. God has 
seeiiied sensibly near in such a supporting 
and comforting manner, that I think I 
have never experienced the like. God has 
helped me to review my past and present 
mercieB, with some heart-affecting degree 
of tliankfulness. 

" I thmk God has given me such a sense 
of the vanity of the world, and uncertainty 
of all sublunary enjoyments, as I never had 

or iiiflaentially belieyed the grand tratbs for which his 
Wcnihy ancestors and relatives have beneTolently cori- 
l^de^d, and some of whom, to their honoor, do still contend* 
coald be have sanctioned the crnel, the savage practice of 
dnelling ? The principles of infidelity, as all other prin- 
ciples, are known by their fruits; they originate, Ukg 
' every otiier Tioe^ in obi^ perverted, fallen, natare; and 
easy is the transition from these principles to practices 
the most licentious and baneful. ^* From whence come 
wars and fightings among yon,*^" says a plain but wise 
man; ** come, they not hence, even of your lusts, &e.!^ 
Jam. iv.. 1 — iO. When any states, as such^ notoriously 
and shamefully copnive at crimes which their own laws 
pronounce woHhyof capital punishment, the smiles of 
heaven hmst be expected on other l^onnds, and obtained* 
if obtained at all, ft>r the sake of men diametrically opp^ 
idle in principle and practice.'—W. 

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aaa t»r life of 

before., The world vamsbes out of -my 
sight ! Heavenly and eternal things appear 
much more real and iaipoctani itha».jever 
beforer-^ I feel myself to be. under oimdh 
greater obligations . to be the Lord's tkaii 
before this sore affliction. The way of sal« 
vatii(>n by faith in Jesus Christ has ap« 
geared more clear and excellent;, and I 
have been constrained to venture my aiti 
upon him; and have found great peace 
of soul,' in what I hope have been act- 
ings of faith. Some parts of the Psalms 
have been very comforting and refreshing 
to my soul. I hope God has helped m& 
to eye his hand in this a>vful dispensation ; 
and to see the infinite ri^it h^ has to 
his own, and to dispose of them as he 

. ** Thus, dear madam, I have given <y<iu 
some broken hints of the exercises' an<J 
Supports of my mind, since the deatl) of 
iiim, whose jnemory and example will ever 
be precious to me as my own life.-^O dear 
madam ! I doubt. npt but I have yoi^^^/^d 
my honoured fether's prayers daily for* me; 
but give me leave to intre'at you both to 

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Itequest ^arsfsetl; t»f the ImM (hat I may 
never, despisd hia^ cha&lcningia, nor faint 
i\n4er tbi3 his.^eVece atcoke; which I am 
(^n^ble tiiiere is • gri^lit cUung^t . ofi ; if God 
ahoald oialy d^ajr m^ the supports that he 
has luth€^tp:gracioi^s}y:graittf^d. 
. . ^' O, I am afffti^ I shall conduct myself 
sa ^s to hnv^ ^hqmoMon my God» and 
the Tteligionrwbicih i';profe$$! NxJ, irather 
let.nii© die this nioiilent, tifian be left to 
bring dishonour on Gods holy name. — I 
mn overcome-^! mw^t conclude with once 
more begging, that as my dear parent^ 
t^m^mh^^ tbfe.mtelws^ (they would not for- 
get, their gfeatly afflicted daughter (now 
a lonely widow) nor her fatherless ohil^ 
dren.^ My duty to^my ever dear and hot 
aoi^dr paiPentsy love io my brothers and 
ni^iem-i Erom,Ideai. madam^iyour dutiful 
agid afFectionaste daughter^ . 

;,c :The follirwiDg ' le^ter^* addressed to het i 
fiither, was written soon after; it is dated 
PrmcetcHi, •No^iriInb6r 2d, ' 1 757 : 
' ' " fetonoured sir, your moat affectionate^ 
comforting letter by my brother——*— VjOOQIC 


was exceedingly refreshing to me, although 
I was something damped by hearing that I 
.should not see you until spring.* But it 
is my comfort in this disappointment^ as 
well as under all my afflictions^ tliat God 
knows what is best for me, and for his oWn 
glory. Perhaps I doted too much bn the 
company and convertiation of such a nestr 
and dear affectionate fathter and guide. I 
cannot doubt but ail is for the best, atid 
I am satisfied that God should order t)ie 
affair of your removal as shall; be for hii 
glory, whatever comes of me. 

" Since 1 wrote my mother^s letter, 6od 
has carried mo through neW' trials, aii<l 
given me new suppk>rts. My little son has 
ieen sick with a slow feter, ever since my 
brother left us^ and has been brought td 
the 4)rittk of the grave, hut I hope in metcf 
God is bringing him up again. I waH 
enabled to resign the child (after a severe 
struggle with naUire) ^ritii the .^;reatest 

• When Mr; S^Nfarda wrote tbeletleifli^ fefefi to, M^ 
did not think of jgpoiog: to Princetoii till. spring; bqt ko 
afterwards determined Otherwise, and weQt in January, aa 
>efiHre stated. . ' . 


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fireedoiri. God shewed me. that the dbiki 
sras not my own^ but his ; and. that. he had 
9L r^ht to recall what he had lent, whenever 
he thought fit; and I had no reason to 
ccnnplain, or say God was hard with me. 
This silenced me. 

: « But O,. how good 18 Gdd! He not 
only kept me from complaining, but com- 
forted, by enabling me to offer up the 
child by iaith, if ever I acted faith. I saw 
the fiibiess there was in Christ for little 
infante, and his willingness to accept of 
i^ch as were offered to him. Suffer liiile 
c^Udren to eeme unto me^ and forbid them 
up*^ were comforting words. God also 
shewed me in such a lively manner, the 
j^lness there is in himself of all i^iritual 
blessings, that I said^ Although aU streams 
^ete cut off, yet so kmg as my God lives^ 
I^ have enough. He enabled me to say» 
Atihough thou $kiy me^ yet will / trust in 
thee. . ■ 

'^ " In this time of trial, I was led to enter 
uitQ a renewed and ocplicit covenant with 
Qodi iq a mo^ soletnn ni&nner than ever 

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f C0 THE LIFfi at 

befeve ; atfti widb the greatekt freedoms asd 
delight ' «After much self^esunniiiatton a&d 
pray 61^ I gave up myself atul chitdnen^ .to 
God, with'iny whole heart. Never, until 
iiow, had la sense of the privilege we aro 
allowed in covenanting with God!. This 
4ct of 60iit lefl my mipd ia a' qximt and 
steady, triist in God. a: . /« • 

** A few days after this, one cpiningi'ua 
talkiiig of the gkirbus state nixjl dciar de« 
pait^d husband must be in^ my^^oulr ivsas 
carried out « in such longing destreBiiafter 
thiB glorious .sftate^ that I was ibcced to 
retire £rom tbe family to ocmceal oty. 'jay^ 
When alone,.! was so transpoitedy and iny 
soul fsacried; out in such eager deflire»a£tttr 
jierfection, and the iuU ebjbyment o£.Q&ii 
and to serve him uninterikipsediy, that 1 
think ' my nature would not have borne 
much mor^. I think, dear sir^ I bad) that 
night, a foretaste of heaven. This frame 
continued in some good degree the whofd 
sight I slept tibt Imle; and.wheli t did, 
my df^eams w^ri all.of liieave^ily and dmnls 
thioigs. Fiiequeiitly «inc9; I have ^It the 

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Mud. BURR. tit 

nsane in kind, though not in degree^ Thus 
a kind and gracious God has been with me 
ia.six troubles, and in seven. 

•* But O, ^r, wba* cause of deep humi- 
Ikition and abasement of soul have I, oa 
account of remaining corruption; which 
I see working copjtinually, especially ^pride! 

how many sbapes does pride cloke itself 
in ! Satan is also busy shooting his darts; 
bcrtr, bkissed be G()dr those t^ptattons oi 
bis^ that used to. overthrow mie» as yet have 
stot; touched mel ::iO^ delivered from 
llie powor of: Sal^» as well as from sin! 

1 cannothe^ hqping thzkt the time is neari 
G«Nd». certainly fitting: me for himself; 
and /when I think it will be soon that I 
shall be called: hence^ the thought is traiis-- 

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fi%^ THIS; UFB OF 


J Sketch of the Life and Character of the Rev. 
Jonathan Edwards, D. D. . 

JoxATHAN Edwards, jumofi D. D. Pre*' 
$ident of Union College in Sehenectadyv 
was the second son of his parents, and was 
born at Northampton, May ^, 1745. la 
his early childhood he appeared a boy of 
great expectation ; but, however promising^ 
his capacity, and however amUtioiis in 
might be of excelling at that age, when 
the mind begins to unfold itself, this period 
of his life was attended with a number of 
singularly embarrassing circumstancee^ the 
tendency of which was to repress his exer- 
tion, and to discourage his mind. He was 
afflicted with an inflammatory weakness iu 
his eyes, which almost entirely prevented 
his learning to read, until a much later 
period thaa is common. This weakness 

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Bft. BBWAIbTO. 22f 

resisted many and tenrg continued medical 
appiicatiOQS. At length, by the sliavtiig of 
hia bead, <^ien repieited^ and for long con« 
txnuaace, the inflafalmation in some degree 
aMted; sothat he was able to apply, m a 
moderate degree to the ru<£ments of learn- 
ing, and to revive in his anxious parentk 
the hop^ that he would not be entirdy 
lott even to the literary world* It was 
ddring his childhood also, that the unhappy 
ocmtest at Northampton rose to its height, 
betmen his fatiiiex and the church there^ 
v^ich terminated in a fii^l separatidn ; 
Wlicreby the assiduous attention of his 
siiBsctionate parents^ was necessarily mikch 
divei^led from hiin. 

-When Mr. Edwards and his family re* 
teofved from Northampton toStockbridge^ 
his son was but ^ix years old. In additioa 
to the discouragements already tnentibnedy 
new and considerable difficulties attended 
him while; at Stockbridge. There was no 
school in the settlement, but one which 
WaisL common to the Indian children and thei 
white people; and there were so few of 
the latter^ eitliej in theis^hooi or^^ Wwx^ 

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fliaihe was ia danger of taitgetixDg entiMbf 
^ .Engfisli toii^e. . Hlopftvet; (wfaBsfc at 
schooi bere, he leai^nod tbelatiBglua^of tixt 
Mohekaneew, br Stockfaitidige In(iiui8jf>«i 
perfectly, that the natiines i {rbc\i\ev^* ^b^ 
served . ^^ that be . spoke; ^lactify tike, m 
Indian." This language > her lelajijedi i]^ ;a 
good degree, tfaroiigh/iife;: atuiitlwiAineri^ 
ean. piiblle is in possei^ion o6:safine ailto*^ 
resting reniarks upon ii, coniibunicited 'l^ 
him to! the Connecticut Society of? Aits 'and 
Sciteneed, and pubH^bed at itheir ireqoest." ^ 
-; His father ^d a stirotg desire^ in! sxkn^ 
servitocy to the o^nffngs of* j^rorideiict; 
and growing signs of gracious qu^tliidEitimif 
in this beloved child, that he^ inight become 
a miisioaary iahiong the AbM^inesL A 
noble wish, Worthy of so'grea^ a mind; and 
so benevidlent' k heart I Aodordmgly', iri 
October, i755> when he was but t&i yieafS 
df age, be wai sent with the Rev. G^eon 
Hawley (^tocfe of Wfashpee, on Capfe Cod) 
to Ougbquauga, oft the Sasqueh^nmah river,^ 
in order to ledrn the lai^nage of tbeOneidft 
Indiani " Oiighquatig^ Wa^ in^^wHtfemeis^ 
^t thi divtainoe «f «bTOt ^e hirndfed^xbiles 

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j»R. nnwAK>B. SSI 

Jrom ai^ Engliali seittleiMBt Aitbia piece 

lie .ftttatiiJLUtd biit four months^ hy^ oreason 

of the war which broke ant between Englimd 

'md Fiance; aqd ektended itoelfJoto their 

oolimies. 'i Whijbsrt he mtB with these Indiufi 

te imde lafMd. iprogmss , ia acquiriog. their 

lojaguaif^ andrm:€bgd§^|]|g their a;ffiectioQ& 

'SlhejiiWererm/nluoh pleasied'with.his etcaia* 

mehts^ and Jm amiable ditpo^itjoiiy . that^ 

nfbeQ) th^ thought i their . settleu^eiit ^- 

poaed JtQiacQajds fmm tW f rencfa^ they took 

bin ^pQQiltljmriahoaJderii, ^d cam^ him 

many miles, through the .nirildemess; to H 

place which they deemed secure. After 

this, however, he never returned to them 

^ny more* : , , ' 

- His f^her died .m^WSS^i bbt it ¥fa»:iiot 

Iritt .dole month io^Eebruaryi l76Qim}j\mho 

bad alraost/com pleted hi& fiftieatb y rar^i tfadt 

be ' sdricusly coihm^Bced : the i^tiidy of the 

J^titi iiangua^ M: a grairnnar jchooi; ia 

Friiueeton,. in New; Jersey, the- tQwn whera 

hk^falthCP^kA. ; And such piligresB did he 

paled m l^arnihgy that in Sqitetnber, l76ly 

hei^Unatt admitted a membepiof the cpHega 

id the isaaie' tomny over which hia fdihdr h^ 

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preiiided for a Aott time before Im 7deait£b 
in September, 1765, bexeceivedth^di^ice 
of Bachelor of Arts^ / » •: . > 

- While he i^as' at college, at-a' time of 
general religious awakening ih'Prisicetoiit 
he obtained a hope of his* Teeop/oiliation ta 
GIkI^ through Jeapft Christ This .ws» 
during tlie^ presidency, and under ^ the im^ 
prrssive preaching of the late Dr. Finley^ 
The following dedication of himself to the 
service of God, which was oiaide bj. him at 
that tim^ was fbnkd among his^ paperii 
after bis decease. 

NcmaurHally Sept/t7, 1763. 

^^ I Jonathan Edwards, student of th^ 
College in New Jersey, on this 17th day 
of September, 176S, being the day brfore 
the first time I proposed to draw near the 
Lord's table, after much thought and coa^ 
siddratioB, as well as prayer to Almighty 
God for his assistance, rbsoived by the gmc« 
of God to enter into an express act of selft 
dedication to the service of, God;, as bdng 
a thing highly reasonable in its own nature^^ 
and that might be of eminent service^ pot 

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keep tnc steady, in my christian courte; to 
rouse me; out of sloth and indolence, and 
upiiold me in the day of temptation. 
• ' ** Efemal and ever blessed God ! I desire; 
with the deepest humiliation and abased 
ment of sou V to come in the nathe and for 
the sake of Jesus Christ, and present myself 
before thee, sensible of my inftitte iitiwor* 
thiness to appear before thee, especially 
on such an occasion ais this, to enter fhto 
a covenaEnt with the^. But notwithstanding 
itay sins have made such a separation be* 
tween thee and my soul, I beseech thee^ 
through Christ thy Son, to "VOuchaa^ thy 
presence with me, and acceptance tj^ the 
^st sadrifice which I can ttiake. 
' •* I do, O Lord, itk hdpes of thy aisststing 
grace; solemnly make an* entire' and per^ 
^«tttal kurrender of all that I aiii and have 
luito^thee, being determined in thy stretigdi 
to renounce A\ former Lords who have had 
dominioii over mef, every lust of tht eyc^ 
of the flesh, and of the mind, and to live 
entirety devoted to thee and thy s^rvicei 
To thaj do I consecrate the powers of my 
mind, wift whatever iniprovements thotf 

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hast already, ^r shalt be pleased bereafb^ 
)tp grant me, in the litemvy way ; puiposiiig', 
if it be thy good pleasure, to pisrsue loay 
9tudies assidoouriy,' that I may be better 
^isepared to act in aey sphere i^ life in 
iirhich thou shalt place me. . I do solemnly 
dedicate all my possesions, no'y ; time^ my 
infli^flnc^ Q«r^ otbei^Sy tp: fae.aU used, f^v'th^ 
glory.; -') . '''■■''■''':/' '^ ^ ' 

" To thy direction I resign mys^i^^ajid 
all that I have, tr(i^ting:aH futnuexontiii- 
gencies in thy hands^ atrf may thy will -kt 
all tbi^gfti «nd t^ot wmi^ ^ 4^ne« Use me^ 
QJj^^M an ini^toKn^iit of tb^j)' ifvacmi 
I.j^epfe^fa, thee» iiiimber mi^ among tlvf 
people ! May I be clcrtbed with the rigiiter 
oui^as €1^ thy JSon; evei*^ iflfiparjt ;M mte, 
t^riQug^ liifii^j^ll: needful sttppW q€- tigr 
PMrifsmg '?nd cheeijng spirit! , I b$»eed^ 
4liee^ O Uvdy itb^^l thow WQhldest iendbte 
metto liTe4QiCQrdingito thismy vow^ ca»- 
s^tly^avpidiiig all sinj and wbe»rldafaail 
<;9nie fo dk), in that solemn and dwful^pbotrr^ 
way/ 1, r^ifteinber this my covetiant; ^nd 
4^itboa, 6 Lord, rememb^it;toci,asidgiif6 
«^ departing spirilr an abuncbnt^admittai^ 

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iisto the reaipois of. blis$! ,; Ap0 ii^ when I 

fyoi laidc^l tibp d^st; aBy;SMrviyuig friend 

fihppld meet mt\f, tjtkh nif i^iorial,, inay it be 

a meaw of gofCM^ (04)110) and do t^ciu adiiHt: 

Inm ■' ^ .pgrtak« of. tHe( bl^ysips^ipf thy <^vf^ 

Daot .ol*> grace, tfarpugi;i r Je^ua the great 

JMedi9;$ to. whom with thee« Q ^athe^ 

9A^ Iby Hply 3j>irit,.be eveflaa^iog prai^ 

s^S^ri^tts^^lky 8aii^:aadaxigelsl lAiBenu''* t: 

.V[hm be? had' fjnished the. uaual c,qwB€ 

m£ fttudios ai-CpIlegey he ^nte^^d^fnore par* 

ftioiilarlyr upoA the Mudy of divtmtyi |ke 

fri^nirdte study of his Ufe^iindet the ^* 

Mw^tionof the totb B«v« Joft^B^}^ny^£]f•i(:^ 

at fiethJebeoi^ in ^Cppnpctte^t« InOc^bor^ 

iWWtfi h^ was Uceasi^J to^pr^a^ the g)9»{]fel> 

by the iMflociatipn of ^ cotiaty cif»Lite)i' 

icW; Mii i» 17^7tr h^ -wap apppiot^.;* 

Mit|«ued t$vo yea^i. ]^t jvtrhere ))e fpwt 
i^; ia^rvf^ilig tin^, abpuft.^oy^, n^oiMituk 
lietw^f* his being 'lk:«s|^, to p^^ 

i%*qt ««By to^K^rtain; ,iMs^3ttpiKW^4i^^^ 
ll^ wikta|;<flcpe|Coi«^ pJla((M4$.ii.<tap4iiiaJ^ 

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23^ Viii LIFE 01^ 

'Daring his residence ^t Princeton, tie 
was invited to pwach to the society ^ 
White-Haven, iii the town of New-Hiiveiii 
in Connecticut On mtittial approbaf^n^ 
he wn& ordained to the * jMsforal c^aigtf of 
that ' church, Jan. 5, 1769 ; and cdtftiAiied- 
(Siere tintil May, 1795; when h^'Watf' dk^ 
natssed by* an eedeftiiasiical cduiikKl, eit tlm 
mutual tequest of tb^ pastor ^lad t9i0 m^ 
eiMy,uherl Mriddnce aniong tbeinttf al^r 
six and twenty yei^rs. For sereitl yearn 
previous to his dismission, some uneaisiftesi 
had subsisted' in the society,.<aiimng Imii 4 
diiB^reilce df i^giotts <^piniotts. Tfim^ipf^ 
ciiliar seli^ments, whem^ the li^easiiieft* 
originsited, and which wer« adopted by- 
sbme Off the leading and most iMflae^tiiit 
&en among his parishioners^' ViMMe '-^^'^flt 
i&ature qiiit^ opposite to^he seiit^nitefes Of 
Dp. JEdwards; and,' indeed,' to thostf ^ ^ 
same church and society, at Che time^hl^i 
he was ordamed among thefm. fhis 4(fii: 
ret^miy of opinioti may be justly x^ptltfifiterad 
as 'the frint^i cavLUt of i^e s^at^Mtbil ke^ 
tii^n I>r.£dwtii^s^ mA hfir^j^^tev^cboiigll 
odiers of inferior moment llGli/thiiir iftAct^ 


r . ^- /' 

r ^ _, 

99. CPWARD#. 237; 

eace. Bujt the ostmsAk q^u^&^^ign^ by. 
tji^ .society, w^ their mabitiji^y tossuppcftt 

Dr. Edwards did not ^continue » long la 

^s unsettled state; for ih J^iiaiiy* 179^ 

be was installed pastor of the tikiifch. m 

ColtbfiM^ X>^<^fiQld 'COpiity,iCami(ec|i«u|iu 

HMe he ;omti»Md admiiiist^riiig: th^ w<^rd 

911^4 f»r4i^i^llcestQ a^ very a(Fect^0Uate.t}eo|)l<s 

fQr:ab(»fft thjcee. y^ears^ In this, x^wn he ia* 

' 1^4fd;tQ have: spe&t, the rqewftder of hit 

days, had it been the pleasure of hiS: diviui% 

M^f ter. It wMs much; his wish- to pursue 

h^ fevourite study . of theology, ' in ji kst 

epafiu^d ^na^ner. To this tbje retired ^iti^ 

ation I of Colebrook greatly, contributed ; 

and 'a ck|ng^ of audience would rentier the 

IWe^ly prpp^ratipn^ for the jijtbbath some* 

ifhat l|B&s laborious^ 1^ &vourjjible an- qp-* 

pij^unity of pursuing bis stud4es^:ira$ not 

iq^gl^cted} but his continuance in this d^ 

sij^ble rcftreat was not of loug duratiop* / 

. . In|i»in^r of 1799, he was elec^ 

president of a Collie, in the l*Wu of 

S^b^i^jeGtady, in the state jC^ New-York^ 

w^ich had lately, bc^n instituted and en* 

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ass «if£ tire OP 

dowed. The election thus made was im- 
inedjately commufiicatted to fainn, whh «q 
invitation to remove, as soon as he coovie- 
niently could. In consequence of' this 
tavitatkm- he was ftgaki diiMiisett^^'^by fim 
ecctesksCieadtsouncil^frorti his pastiiH^l office^/ 
ift the HMt^ of:J«ft]e; a^d Inf>1l9ie< July 
followiiigb<^wmoit«d MSchmetHiuiy:¥f(m 
this time ht» talents atfd attentifM wi^M^* 
appropriated, with uninterrupted ifdskfuity; 
to the coneerns of this newly instituted 
seminary. ' 

Inlhis* situation he continued^nly ti^^o. 
years; fer about 4he middle of Jiily, ifWl- 
his Islbours were suspended by a regular 
iatermitting fever, unattended with any 
immediately alarmmg symptttfts. B^t abbnt 
eight days beftire his decease^ nervous 
sympi&tiilA Hshewed themselves, and^ iiidi- 
catfed' hiflp ttpprbaching dissolution. Thd 
prb^esis of the disease, from this date, was 
very ra^idy and he ejtperienced its impairing 
tffketk sb irtitch, that within i$ttte days he 
wus^ahftbst^ntitely deprived of his speecl)> 
of the regular ex^reise of his limbs, and at 
intei^ls, of his reason. Thus he continued 

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regularly to decline tuxtU August 1, 1801, 
wken he expired. By the ejects ;of his 
di9Qrd|er»..lie i¥M usayoidably prerented 
from expressing his views aad feelings on 
the approaeh. of eteraify&r die iast-five' 
days^ef'his life. In the eady stages of his 
illness^ however, he expressed his ei^ue .an^r 
iKftlliiig resignation totfae^pleaspii&^oiiGoc^i 
itki^ths^t he safisfectorrly acquiesced in theij 
gospel way of salvation thifowgh , a divined 
Redeeontf.* .:..:> 

" » Sone ftiiHiMv dnomnitaiioes pnecedb^ Mm deatii mnip 
\m hme m^iUma^ Op tlie. SAta]iAi.y he§H% Wwasi tdwm 
1)1, hit r«d€ fmn Sf^necladiSF to, Troy^ to .{wewdi for: 
'iff, Coe, the minister of that Utwfoip TrOy is situated om 
tiK fa»kf n bunk ol ,tli«|]juliQii^ seven vsilea Above Albtay/ 
tfii9m &im^M^^sMlhMfA filHMit»lMindrediuii.Mivalitgri 
fren New Ywk. The sabbelh iflunediately .fiicceedini^ 
wea itfteMd^j: hot.. He rode^td chnrch in tke meminir 
in^ his dmee with AfnuBdwHrds* When < he- nitQiiie# 
a(k'neeB9 it* Ipure his eeal in. the ehate le.^» Mf, aii# 
wdked to tfaehoiiBe where he lodged,. whiehWM at a 
cnoMdondUe distant from the cfaai«b« In the afternoon' 
he walked In the ehmni^'Ar'the.saaw teason, attd> after 
the iiiiial.|nth]in«Biidoewni'ended, he |Mrfomied aftiweieV 
servioe. ■ B^ the hesit;, nnd tiie fiitigne w4^di he< Underwent,: 
' he appeani t^ have bncoAiateriaUy affected. ..The ^Ifowing' 
Tneidiif he was seined with- an intemiitlnig^ihvery whieh^ 
iii-Miinewhat less thMi three weeks^ tamiinnted hie li§»/ 

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. The year after Dr. Edwards was ordained 
to the charge of the White-Havcii socidy 
in New-Haveo, he inerried I4i&s Mary 

He wtt Attendad hfwtfireM phfnmvbs, b«l Ue fteely de- 
clared to them, that their jnedlciiieji did not afiem fo, i«eol( 
tjie caase of his disease. Early in the progress of his 
iflneis he seems to have had a preseotimeiit that it would 
tenoMMte MmU^. How fhr the mooBimoidjr atriktt; 
9miUnl3r» or coinddence, betweea the ciwitmflaesea of 
his life and those of his father cootribnted to this, it is not 
easy* to say ; hot it was dhserred, that he mentioned several 
€f then with a degree of feeling more than temaion* 

The reader, will, perhaps, be gratiied,. if we take a 
teview of these coincidences :-«-They were both the sons of 
clergyiBeii, and of clergymen's daughtera^-^iiey bore fiie 
name name-^were idilce liberally edncated and dislin- 
goished fldiobuv--they were not only both preachers of 
the gospel, bat also preached the same doctrines, in the 
aaM atraio« and with eonsidctfabie 'siicce8»^they were 
both tnlors in the seminaries where fhey weie ednoated, 
and for the same continaanee — they were a fterwar d s 
settled in eeagregatioiis where their maternal grandlhthers 
reqpectiiiely, were settled befbre'^em— ^they coiitimied in 
those eOBgn^ifalieas neaily^ the same length of tilDe-^-^hcgr 
were dismistiad by thehr ehntehe% and ecolesiastieal eomn 
eilsy on aeconnt of their religiotts opiiuoii»-N4hej were 
i^ain fettled over ahsanre congregations in the inteiior of 
Ibe coontry—- they were hoik dnwn oat.&oflif those vttiivd 
sititati<»ns to ti»e presidency ofj a.'iaoMege, and aliJie re* 
Kictant to obey the sommons^-aHer a 3h«t period spent' 
lis the duties, ef their neir oiice they died-*-and reiy near 
l}ie pame age, T9 this ure -may add» that ibcgr were con* 

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DR* BDWARDS. 241 . 

Porter, daughter of the Hon. Elcazer Bj^d 
Mrs. Sarah Porter, of Hadley, in Massachu- 
setts. By her he had four children, three 
of whom survived him ; a S6n and two 
daughters. Thdr oldest daughter married 
Mr. Hoit, a respectable merchant in Sche* 
nectady. Their youngest daughter was 
^xnarried to the Rev. Mr. Chapin, a gentle« 
vnian of respectability settled in Stepney, the 
south parish of Wethersfield, seven milea 
Ibelow. the city of Hartford. Their son, 
Jonathan Walter Edwards, esq. was edu- 
cated in Yale College, regarded as an 
excellent scholar, and afterwards a tutor in 
: it. After this he became a counsellor at 
law in the city of Hartford ; and, to use the 
words, of a respectable American gentleman 
*^^ of whom enquiry was made, "is, perhaps, 
not exceeded, in abilities or reputation, bj 
,any practitioner of the same standing/ The 
vigour of mind for which his father an^ 
. grandfather were distinguished, seems to 

sideirably alike in person — and remarkably so in mind — 
. their endowments and attainments, both intellectual fkid 
moral, Were apparently almost the same — they were alike 
distinguished for religious excellence, strength of mind, 
acute discernment, and close investigation, — W, 


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hvve descended In a very liberal measure to 
him.** Both the daughters, it is appre* 
hcnded, are members of <rhristian churches ; 
koid the son appears an unifbrm and iM:renuou9 
advocate ibr the cause of Christianity, and 
a constant and serious attendant on the 
worship of God. '* They are all in easy 
circuimstanccs^v and have eVefr sustained ail 
unblemished and respectable character." 
' Mrs. Edwards, the mother of the persons 
now mentioned, an excellent lady, was 
drowned in June, 1782r. The circumstances 
of this affecting event were these: Dr. and 
Mrs. Edwards were taking an airing in 
their chaise, in the north-eastern part of 
New-Haven ; when at some distance from 
home, the Doctor was called away to 
attend to some necessary business. As 
Mrs. Edwards was returli'mg, she suffered 
the horse to drink at a watering placed in a 
small river, with the depth of which She 
Was wholly unacquainted. The horse sud« 
denly plunged and fell, and threw her from 
the chaise into the river, where she was 
Dr. Edwards was married a second time; 

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1>R. EPWAHDSf j}4$> 

the object of his cheice ia thi« cQimectioii 
was Miss Mercy Sabm» of New-Haven». 
whom he left to ideplQre his loss. — A^ a 
husband and parent he was kind, fatthiH 
and affectto^ate. As a brotberi he m^ted 
and possessed the respect^ esteem* and 
affection of all his brothers and sisters. 
When a cUld, he was not only singular!/, 
datiftil to his parents, but also affectionate 
and conscientious; a disposition of mind 
which manilested itself through his whole 
life. By nature, however, he was of a^ 
ardent, irritable disposition, pf which ho 
appears tohay.e been early conscious. Whilst 
he was quite young he formed a resolution, 
that he would uniformlyt and with unr 
abating watchfulness, withstand this pror 
penaity, until it should be subdued. Thi»- 
he entered upon, as upon an important busi-. 
ness for life — as am adiievement which 
must be accompltsfaed, however difficult and 
arduous the task might prove. And such a 
blessing attended his diligent and inde- 
fatigable vigilance, as enabled him to possess 
an unusual command over his passions, and 
to pass through a life attended with many 

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trying circumstances, with the reputation 
of uncommon equanimity. He knew what 
it was to be abased, and also what it was 
to abound ; but in prosperity and adversity 
He appeared the same. His fortitude under 
trials was great; a fortitude founded in a 
constant reliance on providence, and in 
resignation to the will of God ; a temper of 
mind as different as possible from the frigid 
apathy of a Stoic. 

About the time tliat he first made an 
explicit dedication of himself to the ser- 
vice of God, by a written covenant, when 
he was little more than eighteen years of 
age, he began a diary of his religious life. 
This he continued a few months, and thep 
relinquished it; for a reason, no doubt, 
which he deliberately weighed, as it does 
not appear that he resumed it afterwards. 
This, however, is no uncommon, thing; 
christians while young have more need, of 
such helps, than when they have made 
greater progress; as young students need 
common-place books. Besides, when per- 
sons are engaged in public situations they 
are often obliged to abridge, at leasts their 

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time of writings concerning themselves. 
From what he has written by way of diary, 
he appears early to have determined to 
strive against sin and temptation, and to 
live in a manner becoming his holy profes-^ 
sions, and to devote himself wholly to the 
service of God. The blessing with which 
it pleased God to accompany these pious 
exertions, was visible throughout the re- 
mainder of his life. 

As a man of learning and strength of 
mind, "he probably had not a superior in 
the United States, and but few in the 
WTorld."^ His logical powers were pre-emi- 
nent, and little if at all inferior to those of 
his father. . Being generally favdured with 
good health, he improved this and his other 
valuable 'talents for the defence, the sup- 
port, and the advancement of that religion 
which he professed, and of the cause in 
which he was engaged. In his own country, 
at least, his name will be long remembered 
with respect and honour; and is already 
placed, in the department of divinity, 
beneath very. few, probably none, except 
that of his father. A more industrious man, 

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246 TUT 1IF2 OF 

in whatever he undertook, and a character 
less soiled with human imperfection^ is not 
easily found. His answer to Dr. Chauncey, 
his reply to Dr. West, and his sermons on 
the atonement of Christ, are in America 
extensively regarded as standard workls; 
and will, most probably, never be an- 

Considered as a preacher, in his mianner 
of delivery he was bold and animated ; but 
he addressed the understanding and con* 
science, rather than the passions of his 
fiudience. All who had the pleasure to 
hear him will acknowledge with readiness^ 
that, in his own mode, he was rarely, if eter, 
exceeded. His reasonings were strong and 
conclusive ; and, in his writings especially, 
as might be expected from such a mind, he 
closely confined himself to his subject; 
always presenting something new, otiginlil, 
and instructive. ■ - • 

His constitution and healtJi admitting it, 

he generally rose early, and immediately 

began his regular, diurnal routine of duty 

. and business, which he observed di rough 

life with great uniformity; and from which 

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he was not easily diverted. H^ qon^idered 
his immediate duty to his Creator as re- 
quiring his first ol)edience and atteatipn ; 
and then the relative ^d social duties of 
life were not neglected. His exercises, 
studies, and all his other concerns, as far as 
was consistent with his paii-ochial duties, 
were conducted with regularity, upon a 
well formed system; whereby each duty 
was attended to in its proper season. 

He possessed and nioited the respect 
and affection of ail extensive literary and 
ministerial acquaintance. The latter looked 
.t0 him, under God, as to one of the firmest 
.pHlars, and ablest defenders of the genuicie 
interests of the church, in a day of declen- 
sion and infidelity; and in his death, the 
capse both of science and religion has sus- 
tained a loss not easily repaired. A c<Mres- 
pondent of his observes : *^ I never knew 
Dr. Edwards's equal for impartial enquiiy 
after tmtb; he always seemed thankful for 
any thing that could be urged against any 
-peculiar sentiment of his own. His modesty 
and bttmility were v^y remarkable." An^- 

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248 , THE LIFE OF 

ther very respectable gentleman in Ame- 
rica, in a letter to the writer of this Appen- ' 
dix, says : " Dr. Edwards I once numbered 
among the most valuable of ray friends ; 
and I lamented bis death with much grlef^ 
not only on account of my own loss, but 
of that of the whole American — perhaps I 
might say — christian church. His piWy 
was eminent, his learning extensive, aiid 
his penetration acute beyond those of any- 
other man whom I have ever personally 
known, Dr. W n alone excepted/' 

Dr. Edwards died possessed of an inde- 
pendent estate, as that subject is^jestimated 
in America. Mrs. Edwards also, the widow, 
had considerable property of her. owB, 
whereby she was plaeed in easy circum- 
stances. This favourable distinction in the 
order of Pi'ovidence, contributed much to 
jrelieve his mind of solicitude, bath when 
^dping with difficulties among his flock, and 
in the prospect of being removed from his 
^mily by death* 

His literary productions are small, com- 
- pared with those of bis father, we mean in 


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bulk^ though rather numerous.— ^Thcir ge- 
xivi^l titles we shall subjoin below.* Dr. 

• A Catalogue of Dr. Edward^t Puhlieations, 

1. The Salvation of alt Mea strictly examined, &g. ia 

apswer to Dr. Cbanncej. 

2. A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity. 

3. Observations on the Lan|faag;e of the M ohekaneew, or 

Stockbridge Indians, commnnicated to the Society of 
Arts and Sciences, and pnblisbed at the re<|uest of 
the Society. . 

4. firiefObs^rvations on tbeDoctrine of Uniyeirsal Salvation. 

5. Three Sermons on the Atonement. 

6. A variety of oceasienaLSermons^ separately published : 


A. D. 17S3. The fafthfal Manifestation of the Troth, the 

proper and immediate end of preaching the 

. Gospel. A Sermon preached at Greenfield, 

at the Ordination of the ReT. Tun. D wight. 

1791. The Injustice and impolicy of the Shive 

Trade, &c. A Sermon before the Connect!- 
cnt Society for the Promotion of Freedom, 
1792.. All Divine* Truth profitable. A Sermon 
preached at Hamden, at the Ordination of 
the Rev. Dan. Bradley. 

1792. l^aifh and a good Conscience illustrated. A 

Sermon at the Ordination of the Rev. W. 
Brown, pastor of the first Cborcb in Glas- 
1792. The Marriage of a Wife's Sister considered ja 
the Anniversaiy Cancio ad CUrum^ ia tfafi 
Chapelof Yale CoUege. 


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Edwards inserted maiijr cxcelljcnt pieces in 
the New York Theok^ical Magazine, 
signed I. or O. It is not supposed that he 
has left many manuscripts; but he proposed, 
long before his death, to write two works, 
the failure of which (for it is to be feared 
tJiey have failed) is exceedingly to be re- 
gretted. They were intended to be exami- 

A,D..17as. (It in mppoiod) a FwD^nd Semon for Mc 
Senator Shermoii. 
)7tML The Nece(»Mty of the Belief of Ghrifttianity by 
the Citisens of the State, in order to oar 
political proAperity^ A JSermon preached 
before his excellency Samuel H'antingdqn, 
Esq. LL. D. CrOTernor, and the (xeneral 
Auembly of the State of Connecticut^ con- 
vened at Hartford. 
1706. The Duty of the Ministerii ,of the C^pel to 
preach the Truth. A Sermon at the Ordi- 
nation of the Rev. Edward Dorr Griffin, 
A. M. to the pastoral charge of the church 
in New Hartford. 
179T. A fbture State of Skistence, and the Immor- 
tality of thB Soul, illustrated from the Light 
of Soriptare and Reason. Printed in a 
Volume of Sermons on important Subjects, 
collected from a Number of Ministers in 
some of ti|o Northern States of Anierica. 
; I7(W« A ^arawoll S^mon to the People of 

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nations of the doctrines of SockUans and of 
Jtnfidek. It is with pleasure we remark, 
liowever, as connected with this failure, 
that those who would hare been gratified 
with such productions by Dr. Edwards, will 
be not a little leased with two works of 
similar design, published in our own coun- 
try, by the Be v.. Andrew Fuller, viz. " The 
Calvinistic and Socinian Systems compared 
as to their Moral Tendency;*' a&d " The 
Gospel its own Witness." An American 
writer in the Connecticut Evangelical 
Magazine, to whom we are indebted for 
the greater part of the facts contained in 
this memoir, concludes with this observa- 
tion: ^' Such was this great and good man, 
both in life, and death. In the language of 
Shakespeare, we^ may with propriety say. 

-Take him for all in all, 

^ We (scalrce) shall look upoh his like agaliL^' 

As we are confident that many will be 
gmtified by being presented with Bomfi 
extracts from Dr. Edwards's letters, on 
account of their being answers to enquiries 
ptopo9ed to hinn respeotin^ bi>.iel»tives, &«&; 


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we conclude these nfemoirs with a fevi^ 
of them ; for which we apprehend no apo- 
logy is needful to those persons now living 
who are referred to, as there is nothing in 
them but what is honourable to all parties 
where names are mentioned* 

New-Haveny March \6y\79i7. 
*' Of my father's children seven are still 
living, three sons VinAfour daughters. One 
of my sisters died last fall, the mother of 
nine children; hopefully a pious womaB, 
•exceedingly beloved by all her acquaint- 
ance. Of my two brothers, one, older 
than myself, lives at Stockbridge, where 
my father was settled after his removal 
from Northamptcm. Perhaps it will afford 
you pleasure to be informed, that he has the 
character of a pious as well as able man^ 
and haa obtained the confidence of his 
country to be elected a Member of Con- 
gress, and to be otherwise promoted in the 
civil line. The other brother, younger tbati 
myself, is settled in the practice of the law 
in thi«-CTty. My father was sucteed^ at 
«N^ifthaiiiptoii hy <me. Mr. Hooker; who 

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DR. EDWARDS. f 55 

di^ about the beginning of the late war. 
NoW) one Mr. Williams is settled there.** 

New-Haven^ Oct. 2, 1787*: 
• " As you mention my * former affliction/ 
I suppose you have heard, though I know 
not how, of my peculiar trial, in the loss of 
a most amiable consort. She was acci- 
dentally drowned. A most surprising and 
afflicting scene! — I have three children; 
onie son only, ray. eldest now in his sixteenth 
year. He is prosecuting his studies at the 
college :. a lad of decent behaviour ; O that 
he, may know God and Jesus Christ! 
As you tpo are a parent, you know how 
ardently a. parent, who has any sense of 
divine, things, wishes that his children may 
walk in the truth. Dear Sir^ as you are sp 
kind as ta^ remember me in your prayers, 
for which I sincerely thank you, and hope 
God may hear and answer, will you add to 
your kindness by praying sometimes ' for 
Hiy poor children^ by nature children df 

New-Haveriy June, 1 4, 1 7^8. 
'^ I do not know who the person was 

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S54 THE Xf» Of- 

with whom Mr . firainerd b«4 the CQitv^b- 
sation on the nature of faith, July SO^ I747i; 
but probably it was one Mr. Croswell, a 
minister in Boston, who formerly published 
some pi^^ces to prove, that the essence o£ 
&ith consists in believing that Christ died 
for me in particular." 

New^Haveny Dec. S4, 17S8* 
' ** The Trinitarian Controversy is likely 
to be agitated among us. A principal 
member of the church to whidi I am 
pastor, and who formerly appeared to be a 
friend to the true system, seems now to be 
warping off fi*om that system in general, 
and from the doctrine of the Trinity in 
particular. I fear it will break the church. 
I beg your prayers, that I may act with 
wisdom, and with fidelity to the truth.'*' 

New-Haven^ March SOy 1783^ 
" In answer to your enquiry, in a former 
letter, concerning Phcebe Bartlett,^ I 
to inform you that she is yet living, and bus 

• The ebild of fbtar yean old mentioned in Mr. Edwaids's 
f ritttei Mdrtemytoli lliil!iliy#i 

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unifdrm]y tnaintdmed the character of a 
true eonvert. — I remember nothing of Mr. 
Brainerdy nor of my sister Jerusha.-^ 
Though I had, during my father's lifei 
some eouvictions of sin and danger, yet I 
have no reason to believe I had any real 
religion, till some years after his death/' 

New-Hwoen, Oct.Ql, 1790. 
** I have taken notice of Mr. Fuller's very 
candid and judicious observations and en- 
quiries. D that all ministers would enquire 
with the like attention and candour! In 
'that case, how rapid and glorious would be 
the progress oif the truth ! — In relation to 
my own affairs, last spring the difficulties 
in our church concerning religious senti- 
ments, were professedly settled, and a writ- 
ten engagement subscribed, to bury all 
former uneasiness. But of late, difficulties 
have sprung up anew, and appear to be of 
such magnitude, that I have no expectation 
of continuing in connection with this 
ehuFch. The prospect of a removal is no 
way terrifying to rqe; but it is grievous to 
see those who havie professed to be t))e 

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warmest friends of the true doctrines of the 
gospel, become the most bitter opposers. 
Also the prospect that the preaching of the 
true gospel will be eradicated from a large 
town, and error and false gospel introduced 
in its stead, is truly grievous. But the 
Lord reigns, and will take care of * his own 


New-Hwoen, Oct. SI, 1791. 
*^ The person who was referred to in the 
Thoughts on the Revival was the author's 
wife. [Nature of the work in a particular 
instance, &c.] — The difficulty in our church 
still subsists, sometimes in a greater, some- 
times in a less degree. The paroxysm, is 
generally in the winter, and if this ap- 
proaching winter should remove me from 
my present situation, I would not have 
you be surprised. Tlie current against 
the doctrines of grace has run exceedingljr 
strong in this town for five years past." 

New-Haven^ Sept. 12, 1794. 
^ On the death of my good and able 
friend Mr. Senator Shermon^. I expected 

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DR. £D1¥ARDS. tSf 

fiiy troubles here would break out with 
greater fury than ever. But God's Ways 
are not as our ways, nor are his thoughts 
our thoughts. Ever since his death we 
have been more quiet than before. Yet it 
seemed that he, while alive, was the great 
means of keeping us so quiet as we then 

New-Haven, April 14, 1795* 
*' As I have foi'merly troubled you with 
some account of my own difficulties, I 
cannot but now inform you of the present 
state of my affairs. My great and good 
friend Mr. Sherihon, you know, is dead. 
Another of my best friends died sometime 
after Mr. Shermon. Another is laid by 
from usefulness, from age and infirmity. 
These dispensations of Providence have 
given a great advantage to those who 
have been inimical to me, on account of 
my sentiments and preaching. It is nine 
years since our difficulties began. This 
winter my opposers have exerted them- 
selves with great vigour, and in the first 
place procured a vote of the congregation^ 

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thatj on account of their dunijaution m 
number and . property, they were not able 
to support their minister. Qa my desirii^ 
an explanation of this vote, whether tfe^ 
meant to suggest that I had been tb^ 
criminal cause of their diminution and 
poverty, they by vote declared that it was 
not their intention to suggest, that I have 
been the criminal cause ; still, by another 
vote, they declared that it was their desire 
that the pastoral relation in which I stood 
to them, should be dissolved on the ground 
of their diminution aiKl pov^ty. So that 
as soon as a council can be called, and the 
forms gone through, I shall be liberated from 
my coimection with this people^ So are we 
all liable to changes! But I do not wish 
you to indulge auiciety for me, as even my 
enemies pretend not to bring any impeach* 
ment agamst me. I conceive my cha- 
racter is fair with my hrethpen in the 
mmistry, and with the public in genenii, 
and I hope I may be useful elsewhere. li^ 
ione respect, Provid^ice has provided better 
fyv me against tins event than it did for 
tny father By my first marriage I becasie 

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po9^S5ed of some property, as well as ob- 
tained a most excellent wife. I have but 
three children. My son is settled in busi* 
ness; and one of my daughters is married.. 
I mention these circumstances merely to 
relieve your friendly anxiety.'* 

New^Havmj May 6p 1795. 
^^ As I am about to be released from my 
Mnnection with this congregation, it is 
altogether uncertain where my lot may be 
ijost. But in general, I shall follow the 
ministry, wherever God shall give me op«> 
p^rtunity to do it, with the pro^ct of 
ttsefulness and peace*" 

GrtetMicb, Nov. J, 1795. 
' ** I inclose for your information the re* 
Suit of our council. Thoogh the only reason 
for my dismission urged by the people was 
their poverty, the true reason was the dis* 
aifection ofsonoe principal men to the doc* 
trines I preached. This was well known 
to the council, yet as they professed it not, 
n6 notice could be taken of it. Smce my 
dismission, Providence has constantly em« 

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ployed me in supplying vacant congrega- 
tions. I have not been out of some vacancy 
a single Sabbath ; and have had more ap^ 
plications than I could comply with. !» 
this place, (Greenwich,) and at Colebrook 
in this state, (Connecticut,) I have received 
calls to settle ; but have not as yet answered 
either of them. Probably I shall accept of 
one or the other. So that though my former 
people have rejected me, yet Providence 
and other churches seem disposed to em- 
ploy me. O may I be employed to do good 
to the church of Christ. 

" I have not seen any thing in my father's 
MSS. concerning the best mode of teaching 
Indians. I remember that besides preach- 
ing (HI the Lord*s day, he was wont to have 
an evening exercise, in the winter, at a 
private house, in wliich he gave them an 
account of sacred history, with, practical 
reflections. — The Indians are now entirely 
gone from Stockbridge.'' 

CokbrookyJune7j 1796. . 

<Mn my last letter I told you, that I had 
befbre me two calls : one to the chaise of 

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the church in this town ; the other to that 
of a church in Greenwich, both in the state 
of Connecticut After some deliberation, 
i thought it my duty to accept of the call 
from Colebrook, an inland town in the 
north-eastern part of the state. In this re- 
tired situation, I am much more happy than 
in my former residence. I enjoy peace 
here, which I could not there, as I have 
fbnnerly told you. The neighbouring 
ministers are all friendly here. I have here 
more leisure for study, and a rural life was 
always more agreeable to me than one in 
a populous town, having spent that part of 
my life at Stockbridge, in which we com- 
monly form our taste in such things. O^ 
that I may do some good in this my present 
isituation! I request your prayers. for me 
to this end." 

Cokbrooh, April SO, 1 798. 

^f Since I wrote last, I have been twice 
imminently exposed to death; inhoth in: 
stances by a fall from my horse. But a 
kind Providence preserved me, By one of 
the falls, my shoulder was injured, but is 

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262 fHE LIFE 6F 

now restored to wonted use. I beseech 
you to join me in sincere thanks to God 
my preserver; and O may I consta^tiy 
maintain a sense of my constant liableniesi 
to the great change." 

Schenectady, August 24, 1799- 

** While we are in this worid, we hav« no 
continuing city. It is not yet four year} 
since I removed from New-Haven to C^int 
brook ; and four weeks sincCi I arrived in 
this town with my family from Coiebroc^j 
in con^quence of an invitation from the 
trustees of the College here, to take the 
presidency of it. ^ My removal from Cole^ 
brook was a tender and affectiBg scene. 
The people professed to be exceedingly 
desirous of my continuing among them; 
yet consented, though witii reluctance, to 
leave it to a council, according to our usual 
form, for advice. A committee of the prin- 
cipal men of the church and town appeared, 
and gave reasons why I should not be re* 
moved from ikem* Still, after mature de* 
liberation, the council was unanimously of 
the opinion, that it was my duty to accept 

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DR. £DWARDff. ' 269 

the call from Schenectady, and tkeir duty 
to consent But what renders it most af- 
fecting was, that for about three months 
before the sitting of the council, it had 
pleased God to give more apparent success 
to my ministry than I had been favoured 
with in any part of my life. The attention 
of the greater part of the people was ex- 
cited to religion, a goodly number hope- 
fully made the subjects of divine grace, 
among whom were some of principal in- 
fluence in the town ; and a nnmber of 
others were under deep convictions, en- 
quiring what they should do to be savejd. 
So that at my publicly taking leave of 
them, I was strongly affected myself, and 
it was said there was not a dry eye in the 
house. The people have: requested a copy 
for the press. A very different parting this 
from that I had at New-Haven. Schenec- 
tady is a town half as large again as New- . 
Haven, 17 miles N, W. from Albany, in the 
state (rf New York. The college here was 
incorporated in 1795^ and as there is a 
large country to the northward and west<- 
ward without any institution of the kind. 

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this college is expected to be an important 
seminary. I beg your prayers that I may 
be assisted to a wise and faithful discharge 
of my. duty. My predecessor in office was 
Pr. John Blair Smith, who was previously 
ininister in Philadelphia." 

"P.S. Sept. 2, 1799.— Information is 
just received, that Dr. Smith died at Phila- 
delphia on the 21st ult. of the yellow fever. 
This is particularly striking to me. You 
remember how soon my father died, after 
he arrived at the college in New Jersey. 
May we all stand with our loins girded.'* 

" Sckenectad^, Sept.Xy 1800. 

" For a month past I have been too 
unwell to write; I am now somewhat 
recovered, but not entirely. My disorder 
has been a fever. My former charge at 
Colebrook is supplied by a Mr. Lee, of 
whom we have good expectations. In my 
new situation I find much less time for 
theological studies ; yet I hope I may be 
useful. It was indeed a tender scene to 
part with the dear people at Colebrook, in 

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DR. ^WAKDSU i65 

the midst of a shower of divme grace on 
. my poor labours ; the greatest i^cces& that 
ever Grod was pleased to vouchsafe to 
' my mioistry. Yet how much more agree- 
^le to part thus, than to part in contention. 
I send you a copy of the farewell sermon,^f 
which in some respects I am ashamed ; X 
mean of the mechanical part I left the 
copy with the people ; they, unacquainted 
with the business of printing, committed it * 
to a printer; he, to make the mo&t of the 
job, acted ^ penurious^paFt in the execution; 
and, what is worse, has made the most bkin- 
der& that ever I saw in so short a piece.-' 

• " Schenectady^ Feb. 27, 1801. 

^^ As I had no raised expectations when. 
I came to this place, I find things more 
^^reeable than I expected. The prmcipal 
men of tlie tegi^lature of the state favour 
the college, and appear to have confidence 
m me, in my present situation. Since my 
arrival here, the legislature has granted to 
the college l6,0©0 dollars in money, and 
lands supposed to be worth 28,000 dollars. 
If I may partly believe the compliments of 


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1WS6 : ¥^E^in^ &e. > 

♦ ' * ■ * 

tny friends, the college is growing in reptt*- 
tation. I liope I have been the instru- 
mefit of some good here, not by promoting 
literature only, but by spreading the more 
thorough and accurate knowledge of ihe^ 
doctrines of grace. I undertook the ser- 
vice with great reluctance, on accdunt of 
the labour and responsibility attached to 
it; but hitherto a kind Providence has 
favoured me. Though the institution is as 
yet young, if wise measures be pursued, 
and the smiles of Providence be continued^ 
I doubt not it will be very useful. I 
request your prayers, that I may have wis- 
dom and grace according to my day and 
situation. I fejoice to hear of the success 
of your missionaries in the East Indie;. 
May they go on. and prosper. There are 
several places in this northern part of the 
state of New York, in which it has lately 
pleased the Great Head of the church to 
shed down his influences to the conviction 
of many, and the hopeful conversion of a 
great number.'" 


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